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Special Studies 


Colonel Stanley W. Dziuban 


Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 59-60001 

First Printed 1959-CMH Pub 11-5 

For sale bv the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office 
Washington, DC 20402 

Kenr Roberts Greenfield, General Editor 

Elmec Ellis 
University of Missouri 

Samuel Flagg Bemis 
Yale University 

Gordon A. Craig 

Oron J, Hale 
University of Virginia 

W. Stall Holt 

University o) 

Advisory Committee 
{As of 1 January 19 W 

Maj. Gen. Olivet P. Newman 
U. S. Continental Army Command 

Brig. Gen. Edgar C. Doleman 
Army War College 

Brig. Gen. Frederick R. Zierath 
Command and General Staff College 

Brig. Gen. Kenneth F, Zitzman 
Industrial College of the Aimed Forces 

Col. Vincent J. Esposito 
United States Military Academy 

T. Harry Williams 

Office of the Chief of Military History 
Maj, Gen. Richard W. Stephens, Chief 

Chief Historian 

Chief, Histories Division 

Chief, Editorial and Publication Division 

Editor in Chief 

Chief, Cartographic Branch 

Chief, Photographic Branch 

Kent Roberts Greenfield 
Col. Seneca W. Foote 
Lt. Col. E, E. Steck 
Joseph R. Friedman 
Elliot Dunay 
Margaret E. Tackley 


. . . to Those Who Served 


As late as the beginning of 1940, with World War II several months old, 
military liaison between Canada and the United States was so scant that they 
had not even exchanged service attaches. Yet the two countries and their 
armed forces were inevitably brought into extensive and intimate collabora- 
tion in the prosecution of World War II. This study is a historical record 
of the military and politico-military aspects of this collaboration. 

The impact of advancing technology since World War II on time and 
space factors has demonstrated ever more forcefully that the defense problem 
of the two countries is a continuing one requiring joint solutions. In con- 
sequence, the two countries have in recent years been drawn into even closer 

This study is intended to provide background information to staff officers 
currently involved in defense planning, to officers on exchange duty with the 
Canadian armed forces, and to officers in the service schools preparing for 
such duties. Since many of the current joint problems are similar to those 
of World War II, these officers should find in the record of World War II 
experience guidance which will help them achieve the optimum solutions to 
their current problems. 

From the analyses of the politico-military relationships between the two 
countries, many lessons can be gleaned by Americans of both the military 
and the diplomatic services, as well as by civilian scholars. The study will 
perhaps be similarly useful to Canadians. In its broader aspects, the experi- 
ence recorded herein may be applicable, with interpretation, to similar 
arrangements between other pairs of neighboring countries or within a mul- 
tilateral security arrangement. 

The author of this volume, Col. Stanley W. Dziuban, began work on it 
early in 1950 to satisfy the doctoral dissertation requirement of Columbia 
University, from which he received a Ph.D. degree in 1955. Colonel 
Dziuban, a 1939 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, is at present assigned 
as Deputy Division Engineer, U.S. Army Engineer Division, New England. 


The subject of his book was selected upon recommendation of the Office of 
the Chief of Military History and with the endorsement of the Director, 
Plans and Operations Division, General Staff. Publication has been delayed 
because the greater part of the work on the volume had to be done by the 
author in his off-duty hours and because almost a year was consumed in ob- 
taining the necessary clearances from the authorities concerned. 

Washington, D. C. Maj. Gen., U.S.A. 

1 February 1958 Chief of Military History 



This study contains a detailed account of how the United States joined 
with Canada to thwart the Axis threat to North America and how the two 
nations together cast their resources in the balance to help tip the scales de- 
cisively against the Axis Powers. The common effort ranged from the pro- 
saic growing of wheat to the climactic development of the atomic bomb. In 
the defense of their homelands, North Americans accomplished epic feats and 
experienced high adventure as they built roads, pipelines, telephone lines, 
and air bases in the raw Arctic wilderness, in some instances in areas never 
before penetrated by white man. 

Canadian and U.S. armed forces undertook their strategic and logistical 
operations initially to repel the advance of German and Japanese forces to- 
ward North America and subsequently to help drive the enemy to defeat. 
In executing those operations, Canadians and Americans worked and fought 
shoulder to shoulder on land and on sea and in the air, and together solved 
in a spirit of co-operative friendship the countless problems that arose. 

Prepared primarily as a doctoral dissertation in the field of international 
relations, this study also strives to present a rounded military history of the 
co-operation between the two countries. As a consequence it includes, on 
the one hand, material such as that in Chapters IX and X which contributes 
only marginally to an analysis of the politico-military collaboration. It 
covers, on the other hand, a number of matters normally outside the scope of 
a military history. 

The political and military relationships that evolved between the two 
North American neighbors are examined, as is the impact of the great dis- 
parity between them in size and resources. The influx of U.S. forces into 
Canada posed many problems, one of the most significant of which was the 
jurisdictional status of those forces. The need to protect Canadian sover- 
eignty motivated Canada, which had had for decades carefully to nurture that 
sovereignty, to guard against all encroachments. The two countries worked 
out a variety of joint mechanisms and arrangements for the joint operations 
of their forces, the joint construction and utilization of facilities, and the 


joint control of other enterprises of common interest. In these arrangements, 
Canada's status as a British Commonwealth nation and the joint U.S. -United 
Kingdom direction of global war strategy emerge as two basic complicating 

As the bibliographical note indicates in detail, the study is based largely 
on official records. Full access was given the author to the pertinent official 
U.S. records. Within the limitations imposed by a few gaps in, and by the 
character of, contemporary documentation, the factual record chronicled can 
be considered authoritative. Because the source material included documents 
still classified as secret, the study was submitted for and received military se- 
curity clearance. The author was not required as a result of that review to 
make textual changes. Such review constitutes no official endorsement of 
the study, and where the author sets forth hypotheses, analyses, conclusions, 
or recommendations, they are presented solely as his own views and upon 
his own responsibility. They do not and cannot purport to represent the 
views of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the 
U.S. Government. 

Acknowledgment is due the Houghton Mifflin Company for permission 
to reproduce material from The Second World War by Winston Churchill, and 
to Messrs. Joseph C. Grew, McGeorge Bundy, and Henry Morgenthau, Jr., 
for access kindly provided to, respectively, the Pierrepont Moffat, Stimson, 
and Morgenthau diaries. 

No attempt has been made to use records of the Canadian Government, 
excepting insofar as they were in the public domain or were to be found in 
files of U.S. agencies. Even assuming that these records might have been 
accessible to this researcher, their exclusion would have been dictated by con- 
siderations of time and labor. This omission imposes limitations on the 
study, the full impact of which can be appraised when a comparable study is 
presented from the Canadian point of view. 

Many persons have contributed to the preparation of this study. Helpful 
review and comment were generously offered by Brig. Gen. Paul M. Robinett 
(retired), of the Office, Chief of Military History, Department of the Army; 
Professor W. T. R. Fox and the late Professor J. Bartlet Brebner, of Columbia 
University; Maj. Gen. Guy V. Henry (retired), U.S. Chairman of the Perma- 
nent Joint Board on Defense, Canada-United States; the late Capt. Tracy B. 
Kittredge, U. S. Navy; Maj. Gen. R.J. Wood and Col. Francis J. Graling, U.S. 
Army; and Drs. Byron Fairchild and Rose Engelman, of the Office, Chief of 
Military History. Substantive contributions through correspondence, per- 
sonal interview, or review of portions of the study were made by many 
officers who participated in the events chronicled. These officers are listed 


in the bibliographical note. The author is also grateful for the help of other 
individuals who must go unnamed. 

Dr. Stetson Conn, Deputy Chief Historian of the Office, Chief of Military 
History, and Helen McShane Bailey, editor of this volume, shared the burden 
of reviewing and preparing the manuscript for publication in its present 
form. Margaret E. Tackley, Chief of the Photographic Branch, Office, Chief 
of Military History, selected the photographs. Franklin F. Marsh and Myrna 
Thompson prepared the index. The author alone stands responsible, not 
only for the analyses and conclusion drawn, but also for the scholarship and 
workmanship of the study as a whole. 

Washington, D. C. Colonel, U.S. Army 

1 February 1958 



Chapter Page 


Seeds of World War II Co-operation 3 

Backdrop for Ogdensburg 4 

Initial Canadian Approaches 13 

The Ogdensburg Declaration 22 


Organization and Composition 33 

Modus Operandi 38 

Scope of Responsibilities 46 

Collaboration Through the Board 52 


The Roosevelt-Churchill Axis 55 

North Atlantic Triangle 59 

The Stresses of Partnership 69 

Canadian Staff Representation in Washington 71 

The Combined Agencies 77 


Initial Defense Plans 86 

Early Supply Assistance 90 

Strengthening the Garrisons 95 

ABC I and ABC 22 101 

Putting Plans Into Action 106 


Unity of Operational Command 110 

Local Command A rrangements 116 

Organization for the Logistical Tasks .126 

Organizational Chaos 131 


The Twenty-second Chair 143 

Securing Greenland 149 

The Defense of Iceland 155 

St. Pierre and Miquelon 158 

Summary 160 


The Lease and Construction of Newfoundland Bases 162 

Defending Newfoundland 170 

North Atlantic Ferry Operations 181 

Sault Sainte Marie 193 



The Northwest Staging Route. , 200 

The American Construction Phase , 207 

Traffic Along the Staging Route 215 

The Alaska Highway. . . . . , , , „, 217 

The Canol Project 228 

Communications and Weather „ 4 , 236 

The Prince Rupert Port , , 238 


Bank of the Atlantic , 24 2 

Securing Alaska Against the Japanese . 252 

The First Special Service Force 259 

Canadian Army Pacific Force. . . 268 


Administration and Personnel. . . , 274 

The Rush-Bagot Agreement 278 

Miscellaneous Co-operation . . . 280 

Research and Development 284 

Arsenals of Democracy ., 289 


Jurisdiction Over Friendly Foreign Forces 296 

Airway Traffic Control 301 

Military Air Sen/ices „, , „„, , 306 

Maintenance and Control of Bases , 313 


Beginning the American Roll-up 317 

The Northern A irfields Settlement . , 4 - 320 

Disposals Under the Thirty-third Recommendation 325 

Special Dispositions 329 

The 12 February 1947 Statement 334 

The Ljfssons of V^orld W^ar II . . 339 


A. Recommendations of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, Canada- United 

States, 26 August 1940-1 September 1945 347 

B. First Report of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, Canada-United States, . 366 

C. Extract of Journal of Discussions and Decisions for Meeting of Permanent Joint 

Board on Defense, Canada-United Stares, on 26 February 1942.. . 370 

D. Hyde Park Declaration by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Mackenzie 

King Regarding Co-operation in War Production 373 

E. The 12 February 1947 Joint Statement on Defense Collaboration , 374 






INDEX 399 



1. Membership of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, Canada-United States: 

22 August 1940-1 September 1945 36 

2. Meetings of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense: 26 August 1940-31 

December 1945 39 

3. Combined Canadian-United States Production of Selected Munitions: 1 July 

1940-31 August 1945 290 

4. United States Lend-Lease Aid: 11 March 1941-31 December 1955 293 

5. Canadian Mutual Aid Board Expenditures 294 

6. Canada's War Production During the Mutual Aid Period: 1 September 1943-1 

September 1945 295 

7. Canadian-United States Expenditures on the Northern Airfields, Detailed by 

Projects , 324 


1. United States Administrative and Logistical Organization in Canada and New- 
foundland: 1 April 1943 132 


Members of the Permanent Joint Board Arriving in Newfoundland 40 

Quebec Conference, August 1943 67 

Meeting at Quebec, August 1943 77 

Brig. Gen. C. L. Sturdevant 129 

Maj. Gen. \V. \V. Foster 138 

Harbor Camp Area of the Greenland Base Command 153 

155-mm. Gun Emplacement 176 

Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia 185 

Flight Strips at the Watson Lake Airport 208 

U.S. Army Engineers Constructing a Pioneer Road 220 

Sikanni Chief River Bridge 223 

Train Plowing Through Deep Snow 226 

Retreat Ceremony at Fort William Henry Harrison 261 

Canadian and U.S. Soldiers of the First Special Service Force 263 

All illustrations are from Department of Defense files. 





Chautauqua to Ogdensburg 

The twentieth century gave a new turn to the history of U.S. -Canadian 
military relations. Up until that time the two neighbors had had no occa- 
sion jointly to prepare to defend North America against aggression from with- 
out. It was not too many years earlier, in fact, that the North American 
military problems that arose found the peoples of the two countries not part- 
ners, but antagonists. The open fighting of the War of 1812 ended in 
December 1814 with the Treaty of Ghent, but this treaty marked the end 
only of formal hostilities. 

While the Rush-Bagot Agreement, subsequently signed at Washington 
in April 1817 to provide for naval disarmament on the Great Lakes, has been 
repeatedly cited as a symbol of the friendly relations which have existed since 
that date, 1 sporadic border skirmishes and incursions continued for several 
decades. These eruptions resulted from the mutual rivalries and suspicions 
that remained alive on both sides of the border. 2 But by the end of the 
nineteenth century the two peoples had learned to live together peaceably, 
if not fully to understand each other. In fact, an era of peaceful neighborly 
relations, unexcelled in the history of any other pair of adjacent countries, 
was by 1900 well established. 

Prussian militarism and World War I first brought the two countries 
shoulder to shoulder as wartime partners. Although they entered the war 
for different reasons, and although Canada was then only a partially autono- 
mous dominion of the British Empire, the two countries collaborated directly 
to meet certain of their war requirements. Canadian recruiting staffs in the 
United States accepted thousands of recruits for the Canadian Army. Canadian 
pilots were trained in the southern United States under arrangements made 
by the British Royal Flying Corps, and some American pilots were trained 
in the Canadian training establishment. American munitions production 

' For an example, see the 1946 exchange of notes published in Treaties and Other Inter- 
national Acts Series (TIAS), 1836. For an account of the interpretations of the Rush-Bagot 
Agreement made to meet World War II needs, see below. fpp. 278-80.1 

2 An excellent account of these border difficulties is given in Charles P. Stacey, "The Myth 
of the Unguarded Frontier, 1815-1871," American Historical Review, LVI (October 1950), 



helped meet Canadian needs. When the United States entered the war, the 
expanded Canadian aircraft industry was in turn able to supply some of the 
training aircraft and flying boats needed to meet American requirements. The 
value of Canadian munitions deliveries to the United States in World War 
I totaled $32,785,000, while, as a result of the armistice, contracts in the 
amount of $145,645,000 were canceled. During 1918 a U.S. Navy air unit, 
commanded by Lt. Richard E. Byrd, flew antisubmarine escort and patrols 
from Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia, while a Royal Canadian Naval Air 
Service was being established with American assistance. But after Armistice 
Day, 1918, many years were to pass before any joint consideration was again 
to be given to common defense problems. 5 

Despite the foregoing accomplishments World War I relationships were 
not without their unhappy aspect. From August 1914 until the U.S. decla- 
ration of war, bitter feeling in Canada developed because of U.S. neutrality 
and isolationism. After the armistice, owing to the U.S. attitude on war 
debts, this feeling increased, but it waned with the passing years. 4 

World War I did provide a demonstration that, by the beginning of the 
twentieth century, Canada and the United States recognized several funda- 
mental facts as the basis of their military policies. First, Canada shared with 
the United States the geographic isolation of North America. In the case 
of Canada, climate and topography heightened the isolation. The Arctic 
wastes made a surface approach from that quarter virtually impossible. The 
rugged coast and mountainous littoral of western Canada and the paucity of 
developed transportation facilities rendered invasion there extremely difficult. 
On the east coast, dominated by the Labrador headlands, only limited access 
was possible through the St. Lawrence Valley and the Maritime Provinces. 

Second, and more important perhaps than these natural barriers, was the 
vital concern of the United States in the maintenance of Canadian territorial 
integrity. This concern had found its basic political expression in the Mon- 
roe Doctrine. As early as 1902 a Canadian prime minister, Sir Wilfred 
Laurier, had acknowledged the Monroe Doctrine as Canada's basic protec- 
tion against enemy aggression. 5 The Monroe Doctrine in effect amounted 
to a de facto security guarantee by the United States, having as its principal 

5 Canada at War, No. 31 (Dec 43), pp. 24-25; G. N. Tucker, The Naval Service of Canada 
(Ottawa: E. Cloutier, King's Printer, 1952), I, 256-60; Richard E. Byrd, Skyward (New York: 
G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1928), pp. 64-76. 

4 Hugh L. Keenleyside devotes a chapter to the development of the Canadian attitude in 
Canada and the United States (Revised edition by Keenleyside and G. S. Brown; New York: 
Alfred A. Knopf, 1952). 

5 Charles P. Stacey, The Military Problems of Canada (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1940), p. 
68. See this work for a full discussion of the pre-World War II strategic position of Canada. 



visible evidence during recent decades the U.S. Navy dominating the Pacific. 
The U.S. Navy, together with the British Fleet similarly dominating the 
Atlantic, rendered large-scale invasion of North America virtually impossible. 

On the political side, the era of peaceful relations and friendly stability 
had become so well recognized that the prospect of war between the United 
States and Canada had in reality vanished. This framework of stability was 
firmly welded to the broader framework of a by now well-established Anglo- 
American friendship. 

Within this strategic and political setting, Canada enjoyed a "privileged 
sanctuary" position, leaving it free to spring to Great Britain's side in any 
European war without concern over the need for home defenses and secure 
in the knowledge that, even if by some remote chance Canada itself should 
be attacked, the United States would step in to repel the invader. 

Seeds of World War II Co-operation 

The drums of war, with their portent for the future, had already been 
heard in Ethiopia and China when, on 14 August 1936, President Franklin 
D. Roosevelt gave his first public pledge of defense assistance to Canada. 
Speaking at Chautauqua, New York, he said: "Our closest neighbors are 
good neighbors. If there are remoter nations that wish us not good but ill, 
they know that we are strong; they know that we can and will defend our- 
selves and defend our neighborhood." 6 

The significance of this declaration of defense solidarity was missed by 
the Canadian public. 7 Yet not long afterward, the first of a number of dis- 
cussions on mutual defense problems took place between the President and 
Prime Minister W. L. Mackenzie King. During a visit of King to Wash- 
ington in March 1937, the two agreed on the need for military staff talks on 
such problems some time in the future. Staff discussions on Pacific problems 
took place in Washington in January 1938 as a result of the President's naval 
visit to Victoria, British Columbia, in the preceding September. 8 

Almost two years to the day after the Chautauqua speech, President 
Roosevelt gave an even stronger pledge of defense solidarity. On 18 August 
1938, while speaking at Kingston, Ontario, he declared: "The Dominion of 
Canada is a part of the sisterhood of the British Empire. I give to you as- 
surance that the people of the United States will not stand idly by if domi- 

6 Department of State Press Releases, XV, 168. 

7 F. H. Soward et at., Canada in World Affairs: 
versity Press, 1941), p. 107. 

8 Canada, House of Commons Debates (Ottawa: 
Debates) 12 Nov 40, p. 55. 

The Pre-War Years (Toronto: Oxford Uni- 
King's Printer) (cited hereafter as H. C. 



nation of Canadian soil is threatened by any other empire." 9 Significantly, 
this promise was inserted into the speech by the President himself while he 
was revising a draft prepared by the Department of State. 10 

During this visit to Canada the President again discussed common defense 
problems with the Prime Minister, with particular reference to Atlantic 
coastal defense." Two days after Roosevelt's Kingston speech, Prime Min- 
ister King, during an address at Woodbridge, Ontario, responded: "We, too, 
have our obligations as a good friendly neighbor, and one of these is to see 
that, at our own instance, our country is made as immune from attack or 
possible invasion as we can reasonably be expected to make it, and that, should 
the occasion ever arise, enemy forces should not be able to pursue their way 
either by land, sea or air, to the United States across Canadian territory." 12 

Prime Minister King's visit to Washington in November 1938, on the 
occasion of the signing of a bilateral trade agreement, furnished another op- 
portunity for discussion of common problems of defense "at length and in 
a more concrete and definite way." 13 Coincidentally, this discussion followed 
by only a few days a declaration by the President that the United States 
intended to make the American continents impregnable from the air and 
that he believed Canada would co-operate in meeting such an objective. 14 

The outbreak of World War II altered the complexion of such conversa- 
tions, which acquired new political implications, especially for the United 
States, in the light of Canadian belligerency and U.S. neutrality. Neverthe- 
less, when the two heads of state again met at Warm Springs, Georgia, in 
April 1940, a month before the German blitzkrieg, they used the opportu- 
nity "for a careful review of the whole situation." 15 The prospect of attacks 
of any consequence on Canada or of U.S. participation in the war still 
appeared remote. But the events of the next two months were to move the 
two countries quickly together into close collaboration in military planning. 

Backdrop for Ogdensburg 
The outbreak of World War II had found Canada with armed forces com- 
prising active establishments of only 4,500 ground, 1,800 sea, and 3,100 air per- 

9 Department of Stare Press Releases, XIX, 124. 

10 Cordell Hull, The Memoirs of Cordell Hull (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1948), 
I, 587-88. For examinations of the pledge in the light of the Monroe Doctrine, see Chas. G. 
Fenwick, "Canada and the Monroe Doctrine," pp. 782-85, and Lionel H. Laing, "Does the 
Monroe Doctrine Covet Canada?," pp. 793-96, American Journal of International Law, XXXII 

11 H. C. Debates, 12 Nov 40, p. 5 5. 

12 Ibid., 12 Feb 47, p. 346. 

13 Ibid., 12 Nov 40, p. 60. 

14 The New York Times, November 16, 1938. 

15 H. C. Debates, 12 Nov 40, p. 60. 



sonnel. However, plans were ready For expansion of these forces, and on the 
very day of Hitler's assault on Poland the Canadian Department of National 
Defense authorized the organization of two infantry divisions and supporting 
units. Similat plans tot expansion of the Navy and Air Force were rapidly 
placed in effect. ,(i 

On 3 September 1939 the United Kingdom declared itself to be in a state 
of war with Germany. The Canadian Government also acted immediately 
after the German initiation of hostilities and declared the existence of a state 
of "apprehended war" as from 25 August. By this step the Canadian Gov- 
ernment was able to assume the powers authorized undet the War Measures 
Act of 1914, still in force, which authorized such action when "war, invasion 
or insurrection, real or apprehended," existed. In keeping with its status as 
a fully self-governing dominion, Canada then proceeded independently, and 
unfettered by any automatic commirment to the United Kingdom, to delib- 
erate a declaration of war. With the approval of the Canadian Parliament, 
a declaration of war on Germany was made on 10 September, a week after 
the United Kingdom action. 

Canada quickly acted to undertake an industrial production program and 
other economic measures needed to support the planned mobilization effort. 
The primary objective of the Canadian war program was. through consulta- 
tion and co-ordination with the United Kingdom, to make the most effective 
contribution to the conduct of the war. Representations from London indi- 
cated that most needed immediately were military and naval materiel, raw 
materials and industrial goods, air, naval, and technical army personnel, and 
the preparation of an expeditionary force for later use. r While undertaking 

home defense such as the deployment of forces to defend coastal areas and 
vulnerable points. IH 

In proceeding with the formation of the two infantry divisions, Canada 
found itself largely unprepared to provide them with modern equipment, 

'"The reader interested in accounts of prewar status and expansion of 7 the Canadian armed 
forces should consult Charles P. Stacey, Tj6<* Military Problems uf Canada and The Canadian 
Army. 19 39-1942 (Ottawa; E. Cloutier, King's Printer, 1948); Joseph Schull, The Far D is rant 
(Ottawa: E. Cloutier, King's Printer, 1950); and Tucker, The Natal Service Bjf Canada. 
11 The question of the adequacy of the Canadian voice in the formulation of policy and 
strategy for the conduct of the war and the use of Canadian resources subsequently became the 
subject of some debate in Canada, It is discussed by Dawson. Canada in wttfd Affairs: 1939- 
1941, Ch. X, and by C. C. I.ingard and R, G. Trotter, Canada in World Affairs. Ill, September 
1941 to May 1944 (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1950). 238. 

" Canadian Department of National Defense statement of 20 September 19 J9, quoted in 
Robert M Dawson. Canada in World Affairs; 1939-1941 (Toremto: Oxford University Press, 
19-i}), pp. 286-89. 



Such equipment was not on hand, nor was there production capacity for it 
since Great Britain had in the past been the source of this material. Expan- 
sion of the Air Force was similarly handicapped. Having, however, a sub- 
stantial industrial base and an adequate supply of raw materials and skilled 
workers, Canada was able quickly to initiate expansion of its munitions in- 
dustry from the single ammunition-producing arsenal that was in production 
at the outbreak of war. 

In the succeeding months the production requirements presented by the 
United Kingdom proved to be much smaller than had been expected. The 
result was that by May 1940 only a relatively modest expansion of the Cana- 
dian munitions industry had taken place, inadequate to meet by itself increased 
Canadian requirements, let alone other needs, which arose after the fall of 
France. 19 

United States preparations in the face of the worsened world situation 
had, before the outbreak of war, also been modest. A Naval Expansion Act 
approved in 1938 was a first, but small, step toward a powerful two-ocean 
Navy. In April 1939 legislation was enacted to provide new aircraft and 
other equipment for the Army and to expand the base of munitions produc- 
tion. The U.S. reaction to the actual outbreak of war was the Presidential 
proclamation on 8 September 1939 of a limited national emergency. But 
participation in the war seemed remote and, to most Americans, improbable. 
No sense of urgency marked U.S. defense preparations. 20 

In this period preceding the German invasion of the Low Countries on 

" H. C. Debates, 22 May 40, p. 128, and 11 Jun 40, pp. 656-57; R. G. Trotter and A. B. 
Corey (eds.), Conference on Canadian- American Affairs: Proceedings at Queen's University, 23—26 
June 1941 (Toronto: Ginn and Company, 1941), pp. 44-45. Several authorities have stated 
that fear of postwar competition and the desire to conserve credits motivated the paucity of 
British orders. See Dawson, Canada in World Affairs: 1939-1941, pp. 16-17, 114-17, and 
H. Reginald Hardy, Mackenzie King of Canada: A Biography (Toronto: Oxford University 
Press, 1949), p. 190. 

20 For accounts of pre-Pearl Harbor military preparations in the United States, see Mark S. 
Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD 
WAR II (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1950); Wesley F. Craven and James L. 
Cate (eds.), The Army Air Forces in World War II, I, Plans and Early Operations Chicago: 
University of Chicago Press, 1948); Samuel Eliot Morison, History of United States Naval Oper- 
ations m World War II, I, The Battle of the Atlantic, September 1939-May 1943 (Boston: Little, 
Brown and Company, 1947); and The War Reports of General of the Army George C. Marshall, 
General of the Army H. H. Arnold, and Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King (New York: J. B. Lippin- 
cott Company, 1947). Also related are Maurice Matloff and Edwin M. Snell, Strategic Planning 
for Coalition Warfare, 1941-1942, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Wash- 
ington: Government Printing Office, 1953), and the forthcoming volume in the same series by 
Stetson Conn and Byron Fairchild, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense. An account of the 
development of U.S. foreign policy from 1937 through August 1940 has been written by Wil- 
liam L. Langer and S. Everett Gleason, The Challenge to Isolation (New York: Harper 
& Brothers, 1952). 



9-10 May 1940, only isolated contacts in the field of politico-military co-op- 
eration took place between Canada and the United States. The Roosevelt- 
King meeting in April has already been mentioned. In August 1939, when 
the outbreak of war had not yet occurred but appeared imminent, Canadian 
Minister of National Defense Ian A. Mackenzie and Chief of Air Staff Air 
Marshal William Bishop had secretly approached the White House and the 
War Department seeking the purchase of some sixty-five medium bombers, 
trainers, and flying boat patrol aircraft. Their efforts were fruitless. In Jan- 
uary 1940 the Canadian Government asked if there would be U.S. objection to 
the purchase of yachts for conversion to armed vessels. A negative reply 
was received, and in the next few months Canada carried out a complicated 
scheme of purchase by Canadian civilians of suitable yachts that were in turn 
requisitioned by the government. During this "phony war" period some 
procurement of military equipment took place by direct contracting between 
the Canadian Government and U.S. manufacturers. 21 

During the prewar and phony war periods, U.S. Army and Navy officers 
in Washington took into account in their planning studies the national pol- 
icy pronouncements of the President calling for defense of the hemisphere 
from North Pole to South Pole. In these studies, they examined the defense 
of the contiguous Canadian territory. The need for some sort of collabora- 
tion with Canada in this regard was recognized. Nevertheless, these studies 
did not result in the development of any approved requirements for bases in 
Canada or in any joint planning with Canadian staffs. The more serious 
threats to the Americas were viewed as directed toward the Panama Canal, 
the Caribbean Sea, and contiguous land areas. Emphasis was placed in the 
planning studies on these areas, with secondary consideration being given 
to northern North America. Although the planning studies did visualize 
some need to utilize bases in Newfoundland, no requirement for rights there 
was established by the War and Navy Departments in their over-all state- 
ments of requirements, which did include a number of sites in Latin America 
and western Atlantic waters. 

The German blitzkrieg of May 1940 undoubtedly startled Americans, to 
whom the war was still a political issue and not a military reality. To Cana- 
dians, however, the Nazi successes meant that the war was but one step short 
of Canada's threshold. By 17 June the German assault begun on 10 May 
had forced the French to seek an armistice and had left, in the wake of 

21 Memo, L. Johnson for President, 25 Aug 39, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 42; Cdn 
Leg aide-memoire, 18 Jan 40, D/S 195.2/3666; Tucker, The Naval Service of Canada, II, 25-26. 



Dunkerque, a battered British Army evacuated safely, but only after the loss 
of most of its heavy equipment. 

The successful onslaught of the German blitzkrieg brought the Nazi 
panzers to the English Channel, where they sat poised as if for invasion. 
Behind them the Luftwaffe girded itself for the aerial assault which, it was 
hoped, would further cripple England and make easy its subjugation. The 
Battle of Britain did not start immediately, but it was certain to begin and 
to rain death and destruction from the skies on the people, homes, and fac- 
tories of Britain. 

In this emergency, and in the face of such a dismal prospect, President 
Roosevelt and his closest advisers acted without hesitation. From reserve 
stocks, the United States during June 1940 shipped to the United Kingdom 
a half-million Enfield rifles with 130 million rounds of ammunition, 975 
artillery pieces with a million rounds of ammunition, 80,000 machine guns, 
and other munitions. 22 Canada, too, hurriedly made available to the United 
Kingdom such additional military resources as could be scraped together. 
Beyond this "scraping of the bottom of the barrel," there could be no sig- 
nificant augmentation of supplies of materiel to the English during the fol- 
lowing months. 

Yet if the major scenes of this Wagnerian tragedy were being played in 
western Europe, overtones could easily be heard in North America. With 
the invasion of an all but defenseless Britain seemingly an imminent pos- 
sibility, to Canadians hardly less than to Britons, great consequences hung 
on the answers to the questions: Would Hitler invade? Would he be suc- 
cessful? As early as 15 May, British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill 
had at least entertained the possibility that the answers to both questions 
might be affirmative, when he told U.S. Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy that, 
even if England were completely destroyed, rather than give up, the govern- 
ment would move to Canada with the fleet and fight on. Again on 4 June, 
when reporting to the House of Commons on the disasters on the Conti- 
nent, Churchill, though disbelieving that Germany could conquer Britain, 
proclaimed that such action would be followed by liberation by "our Empire 
beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet." 25 

Consideration of this dire possibility, with its tremendous implications 
for Canada, was the burden of a message from Churchill which was deposited 

22 Army Service Forces, International Division, A Guide to International Supply (Washing- 
ton: 1945), p. 4. 

2 > D/S 740.0011 EW 1939/2952; Hull, Memoirs, I, 765-66; Great Britain, Parliamentary 
Debates, Vol. 361, col. 796. 



on Prime Minister King's desk on 5 June. In it Churchill discussed con- 
tinued U.S. neutrality and alternate courses of action regarding the British 
Fleet should the United Kingdom be defeated. He also pointed out: 

We must be careful not to let Americans view too complacently prospect of a British 
collapse, out of which they would get the British Fleet and the guardianship of the Brit- 
ish Empire, minus Great Britain. If United States were in the war and England [were] 
conquered locally, it would be natural that events should follow the above course. But 
if America continued neutral, and we were overpowered, I cannot tell what policy might 
be adopted by a pro-German administration such as would undoubtedly be set up. 

Although President is our best friend, no practical help has [reached us] from the 
United States as yet. We have not expected them to send military aid, but they have 
not even sent any worthy contribution in destroyers or planes, or by a visit of a squadron 
of their Fleet to southern Irish ports. Any pressure which you can apply in this direc- 
tion would be invaluable. 24 

The implications for Canada of a German conquest of the United King- 
dom were understandably overwhelming. Having sent one of its two par- 
tially trained and partially equipped divisions to England the preceding 
December-January, Canada would find the war at its doorstep without an 
adequate Army, Navy, or Air Force to defend it, and without a munitions 
industry adequate to equip and supply such forces had they existed. Naval 
base facilities and other resources needed to support the British Fleet were 
insufficient or not available. A seat for the United Kingdom Government 
would have to be provided, and Canada's modest means would have to sup- 
port the war effort of both governments. Serious problems concerning the 
relationship between King's government and Churchill's government-in-exile 
would arise and have to be worked out. 

The Canadian Government and its planning staffs took under urgent study 
both the immediate and the longer-term problems arising from the impend- 
ing fall of France. Prime Minister King reaffirmed the policy he had an- 
nounced when Canada declared war, that of assisting Great Britain by con- 
tributing as far as possible to the defense of Newfoundland and the other 
British and French territories in the Western Hemisphere. In June Canadian 
Army troops were dispatched to Newfoundland and, at the request of London, 
to the British West Indies and to Iceland. 25 

The Nazi blitzkrieg also resulted in a disruption of the British Common- 
wealth Air Training Plan in Canada, to which Canada had been devoting a 

24 The full text of the telegram is given in Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War: 
Their Finest Hour (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1949), pp. 145-46. 

25 H. C. Debates, 20 May 40, p. 47, and 17 Jun 40, p. 854; Stacey, The Canadian Army, 
1939-194}, pp. 24-25. For an examination of the shifts in emphasis in Canadian defense 
policy from 8 September 1939 to the end of 1940, see Trotter and Corey (eds.), Conference on 
Canadian-American Affairs, 1941, pp. 40-44. 



substantial part of its war effort. In consequence of the urgent need for 
strengthening the British air defense force, planes and pilots in Canada suit- 
able for that purpose were rushed to England, while the flow of aircraft from 
England for use in the training program was cut off. In an effort to sustain 
the training plan, Canada scoured the United States seeking to purchase avail- 
able used aircraft and supplies. As an alternate means of procuring pilots, 
British Ambassador Lothian and Canadian Charge d'Affaires Merchant 
Mahoney on 27 May 1940 sought an arrangement by which air trainees could 
be sent to schools in the United States. The request was refused on the 
grounds that such facilities were being fully utilized to meet U.S. needs and, 
furthermore, that any such step would violate the Hague Convention. 26 

In the United States, too, the imminent fall of France and the possibility 
of British defeat gave impetus to urgent actions in the War and Navy 
Departments. 27 The Joint (Army-Navy) Planning Committee dropped work 
on other plans and hurriedly drafted Rainbow 4, a plan based on the as- 
sumptions that Britain and France would be defeated and that the United 
States would face a coalition of Germany, Italy, and Japan. The plan envis- 
aged the defense of North America and the northern part of South America. 

The military analyses made by the President and his service chiefs— Gen- 
eral George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff, and Admiral Harold R. Stark, 
Chief of Naval Operations— in consultation with Under Secretary of State 
Sumner Welles, all were based on a primary effort in South America to fore- 
stall Nazi subversion or intervention. Such activities were to be countered 
by occupation of British, French, Dutch, and Danish possessions in the 
Western Hemisphere. 

The planners in the War and Navy Departments had long recognized the 
need for garrisoning additional bases in the Western Hemisphere as essen- 
tial to adequate continental defense. However, even under the impact of 
the fall of France, the staff planners had not until this time seriously con- 
sidered that a need for military bases in Canada existed and had not envis- 
aged a situation requiring arbitrary action toward Canada. The pre- World 
War II Rainbow 1 war plan approved in August 1939, for example set forth 
a need for bases in British possessions and in Latin American areas but not 

26 Memo/Conv, British High Commissioner Sir Gerald Campbell and Jay Pierrepont Moffat, 
15 Jun 40, Moffat Diary; Memo/Conv, Charge Mahoney and J. C. Green, 4 Jun 40, D/S 
711.00111 Lie. Babb, Chas. H./71; Memo/Conv, Mahoney and Moffat, 4 Jun 40, D/S 

27 For an account of U.S. Army plans and measures during this period, see Conn and Fair- 
child, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, Ch. II. 



in Canada. 28 After the major Allied reverses in the Low Countries and 
France in May 1940, and at the direction of the President, the planners out- 
lined steps to be taken in case Germany demanded cession of the strategi- 
cally important British, French, and Dutch possessions in the Western Hem- 
isphere. They concluded that, in the event of such demands, the United 
States should "assert sovereignty" over the possessions, excepting Newfound- 
land, where they considered co-operation with Canada (which had already 
garrisoned that island) would be practicable. 29 

The needs for bases in the Western Hemisphere were outlined in a joint 
Army-Navy estimate that had been requested by President Roosevelt on 13 
June 1940. Entitled "Basis for Immediate Decisions Concerning the Na- 
tional Defense," this estimate of the world situation had been prepared and 
revised through ten editions by 27 June. All editions urged the necessity 
for maximum co-operation with the Latin American republics and with Can- 
ada in the defense of their territories, and recommended initiation of diplo- 
matic action toward that end. The 22 June version of the report was presented 
to the President by General Marshall and Admiral Stark and was discussed 
by the three. Although never formally approved by the President or the 
War and Navy Departments, the conclusions and recommendations of this 
joint estimate apparently accurately reflected U.S. policies and attitudes dur- 
ing the summer of 1940 as to its continental defense needs.' 

Major emphasis in the joint estimate was placed on the strengthening 
of hemisphere defenses through the provision of arms to the Latin American 
republics and other measures in that area. Such measures had already been 
considered in the executive departments. On 23 May the President had ap- 
proved the dispatch of Army and Navy liaison officers to the South American 
countries. 31 Congress, too, had already considered, and on 15 June 1940 
passed, House Joint Resolution 367 authorizing military and naval assistance 
to the American republics, and planning with these republics for such assist- 
ance was started. In the following month the foreign ministers of the 
American republics met at Havana, Cuba, to consult with respect to security 

28 Tracy B. Kittredge, U.S. -British Naval Co-operation, 1940-1945 (Unpublished monograph, 
1947, copy in OCMH), Vol. I, Sec. II, n. 28. 

"OCNO Memo, OP-12B-MCC, 28 May 40, states that WPD generally concurred, and 
bears the notation that Under Secretary of State Welles had seen it; see also Watson, Chief of 
Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations, p. 477, for the more restrained concurrent recommendations 
of General Marshall's planners for the acquistion or protective occupation of the possessions; 
Conn and Fairchild, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, Ch. II. 

50 Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations, pp. 110-13; Conn and Fairchild, 
The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, Ch. II. 

31 Memo, L. Duggan for Welles, 21 May 40, D/S 810.20 Defense/21-3/5; Conn and Fair- 
child, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, Ch. VIII. 



problems presented by the changed situation in Europe. By the end of July 
the President had approved the policy for providing arms assistance to the 
republics. 32 

While the U.S. Army and Navy staffs were placing principal emphasis in 
planning for hemisphere defense on preparations in the Caribbean Sea, South 
America, and contiguous areas, the forces that were to bring Canada and the 
United States into a close defense collaboration were at work. In response 
to the 5 June request from Churchill, which accompanied his suggestion that 
the safety of the British Fleet would not be certain, King proceeded in his 
own way to "apply . . . pressure" on the United States. 33 Shortly after 
receiving the message, King sent Hugh L. Keenleyside, an officer of the 
Department of External Affairs, to Washington as a special emissary on a 
highly secret mission known only to one other person in Ottawa and to five 
persons in Washington. Keenleyside met with President Roosevelt and 
Secretary of State Cordell Hull and discussed with them the Churchill tele- 
gram of 5 June. The telegram disturbed the President considerably, since 
in it Churchill had given no assurances that he would not allow the British 
Fleet to be surrendered and had suggested the possibility of a pro-German 
administration in the United Kingdom. 34 

King interpreted the Churchill telegram as at least suggesting that his 
pressure take the form of bargaining for U.S. entry into the war, using the 
British Fleet as a lever. However, he apparently avoided this tactic and, in- 
stead, in replying to Churchill on 17 June, counseled against it on the basis 
that some feeling was developing in the United States that the United King- 
dom was in fact striving for such a bargain. At the same time King pressed 
Churchill for an examination of the practical problems that would arise if 
remnants of the British Fleet were to come to North America. 35 

Churchill's reply to Prime Minister King disclaimed any suggestion of 
a bargain and recommended against dwelling on the possible consequences 
of the defeat of Great Britain. On the one hand, he saw no need for prac- 
tical preparations for possible transfer of portions of the fleet across the 
Atlantic; on the other, he acknowledged that he could not guarantee the 
course of events if Great Britain were defeated. 36 For the public record, the 

32 Statement, Proposed National Policy re Supply of Arms to American Republics, dated 
July 1940 and apparently approved and initialed by the President about 29-31 July, D/S 810.24/ 

33 See above, pp l 8-9.1 

34 Memo/Conv, Moffat and President, 10 Jun 40, and Memo/Conv, Moffat and Prime 
Minister King, 13 Jun 40, Moffat Diary. 

35 Memo/Conv, Moffat and King, 27 Jun 40, Moffat Diary. 

36 The reply, dated 24 June 1940, is quoted in Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p. 227. 



possibility of British defeat and surrender of the fleet were denied, as in the 
forceful and vivid terms of Churchill's speech to the House of Commons on 
4 June. Nevertheless, these contingencies found expression in secret discus- 
sions involving Prime Ministers Churchill and King, President Roosevelt 
and Secretary of State Hull, British Ambassador Lothian and Canadian Min- 
ister Loring Christie, and the new U.S. Minister in Ottawa, Jay Pierrepont 

The emphasis on Rainbow 4 planning testified to the serious considera- 
tion given these possibilities by the U.S. staff planners. The Canadian 
Chiefs of Staff Committee, too, in its plan for the defense of Canada, revised 
as of 9 July 1940, envisaged the possible loss of British Fleet supremacy in 
the North Atlantic. In fact, by mid-July advance preparations were actively 
being made in Canada for the possibility that all or part of the fleet might 
fall back to base on Canada. These preparations included the installation 
of anchorages, buoys, and nets and other protective devices. 38 The problem 
appeared to the Canadian Government to warrant exploration of new 

Initial Canadian Approaches 

On 14 June King and U.S. Minister Moffat, whose credentials the Cana- 
dian Prime Minister had accepted the preceding day, met and discussed the 
many practical problems that the possible movement of the British Fleet, or 
part of it, to Canada would present. King thought the time had arrived for 
staff talks with the United States but wondered whether the suggestion would 
embarrass, or be welcomed by, the President. The suggestion had not yet 
been reported back to Washington two days later, when broader approaches 
were made. In another meeting, on 16 June, Prime Minister King asked 
the United States to provide Canada with materiel and training assistance, 
and to supply troops in the event of an emergency. 39 

Similar approaches were made in Washington the next day, when the 
Canadian charge handed Secretary Hull an aide-memoire suggesting staff con- 
ferences "with respect to the naval, military and air defense of North Amer- 
ica, having particular regard to the defense of the Atlantic Coast." 40 A sec- 

37 Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p. 400 et passim; Memo/Conv, Roosevelt and Moffat, 10 Jun 
40, and Memo/Conv, King and Moffat, 14 Jun 40, Moffat Diary; Memo/Conv, Hull and 
Lothian, 24 Jun 40, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 62; Memo/Conv, L. Christie and A. A. 
Berle, Jr., 12 Jul 40, D/S 740.0011 EW 1939/4700. 

"The Canadian plan of 9 July 1940 is at PDB 104-7; Memo/Conv, Moffat and Adm P. 
Nelles, 13 Jul 40, Moffat Diary. 

"Ltr, Moffat to Secy State, 16 Jun 40, D/S 711.42/194. 

40 D/S 711.42/195. 



ond aick-memoire presented at the same time requested the sale to Canada of 
forty-eight fighter and forty patrol aircraft. 41 

Coincidentally, a British request for staff talks was received at almost the 
same time. On 11 June 1940 Ambassador Lothian laid before Secretary Hull 
the suggestion that naval staff conversations take place. Hull expressed 
doubts about their need but promised to pass the suggestion on to President 
Roosevelt. Two weeks later, when Lothian again suggested military staff 
talks for discussion of policies for future developments, Hull proposed, as 
an alternative, exchange of information through diplomatic channels. 42 

The Canadian proposals fared only a little better. Secretary Hull's con- 
clusion that it was not yet possible to give a definitive answer was transmit- 
ted to King on 27 June by Moffat. However, on the same day Moffat 
received a letter from Under Secretary of State Welles, in which Welles and 
Secretary Hull suggested, at President Roosevelt's instance, that Moffat 
should ascertain in detail what the Canadians wished to discuss and should 
bring this information to Washington. Welles considered that, after Moffat 
had reported the information to General Marshall and Admiral Stark, it 
would be possible for a Canadian officer to come to Washington secretly for 
"technical conversations." 43 

Two days later, on 29 June, Moffat, at the suggestion of Prime Minister 
King, met with newly appointed Minister of National Defense J. L. Ralston 
and Minister of National Defense for Air C. G. Power. The Canadian offi- 
cials stated that commitments would neither be sought nor given. The 
agenda would include Newfoundland, where they thought the important air 
base was vulnerable to air attack; St. Pierre and Miquelon, which they thought 
should be occupied; and defense problems in the Maritimes, Greenland, and 
Iceland. They discussed problems Canada faced in connection with the pos- 
sible transfer of the British Fleet to Canada and with the British Common- 
wealth Air Training Plan, which had been disrupted by the British failure 
to supply promised aircraft. United States help was needed to meet critical 
supply deficiencies, and, insofar as Canada's industry could meet them, Can- 
ada would wish to work closely with U.S. industry. Among the additional 
suggestions that would be advanced for help from the United States were 
the conduct of reconnaissance flights over the western North Atlantic and 

41 D/S 811.111 Canada/688. The action taken on this and subsequent supply requests is 
recounted in IChapter TV! below. 

42 Memo/Conv, 11 Jun 40, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's Safe File, Lord Lothian Folder, and 24 
Jun 40, Secy's File, Box 62. 

45 Ltr, Hull to Moffat, 25 Jun 40, D/S 711.42/194; Memo/Conv, King and Moffat, 27 Jun 
40, Moffat Diary; Transcript of Discussion, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Marshall, Stark, et al., 3 Jul 
40, Morgenthau Diary, Vol. 279, p. 149- 



the acquisition and development of air bases in the West Indies and New- 
foundland through lease or purchase of land. 44 In a final conversation before 
Moffat's departure for Washington, Prime Minister King entered an especial 
plea for favorable action on the outstanding Canadian request for rifles, ma- 
chine guns, and artillery, without which the troops to be called up shortly 
could not be equipped, since Canada had sent nearly all such equipment to 
the United Kingdom. 45 

In Washington, on 2 and 3 July, Moffat met in turn with General 
Marshall and Admiral Stark, and with Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of 
the Treasury, who had been charged by President Roosevelt with the con- 
duct of arrangements for supplying materiel aid to the United Kingdom, 
France, and others. For these officials, Moffat painted a very dismal picture 
of the Canadian defense situation. Marshall, while indicating a readiness to 
receive Canadian staff officers, feared that if they learned the true state of the 
U.S. supply situation the effect might be more discouraging than helpful. 
Furthermore, on 2 July an act of Congress was approved which made trans- 
fers from remaining stocks even more difficult. Stark, who was somewhat 
more enthusiastic than Marshall about meeting some senior Canadian offi- 
cers, suggested that the group could come to Washington ostensibly to con- 
sult the British Purchasing Commission but actually to meet at luncheon 
with their U.S. colleagues. The meeting with Morgenthau brought out the 
fact that British Commonwealth requests had always been received and acted 
on as a unit, without questioning the allocations made by the United King- 
dom within the Commonwealth. This procedure had apparently worked to 
Canadian disadvantage. 46 

Morgenthau, Marshall, and Stark met on 3 July to discuss the perplexing 
problems presented by Moffat, while the U.S. Minister in Ottawa continued 
his discussions, meeting in turn with Hull and Welles of the State Depart- 
ment. Marshall felt that the U.S. supply situation was already so difficult 
that, rather than weaken U.S. defense forces further by sending supplies to 
Canada, a better alternative would be to plan to send U.S. forces to Canada 
when the situation required it. He mentioned that the President had already 
asked railroad officials how they would move 300,000 troops to the Maritime 
Provinces. Apart from the obstacles in the way of furnishing materiel aid to 
Canada, Marshall, and to a lesser degree Stark, did not see how a meeting 

44 Memo/Conv, 29 Jun 40, Moffat Diary. 

45 Ltr, Moffat to Secy State, 1 Jul 40, Moffat Diary. The Minister of National Defense pub" 
licly reported on the difficult supply situation to the House of Commons later in July. (H. C. 
Debates, 29 July 40, p. 2237.) 

46 Moffat Diary. 



with Canadian staff officials could be held to discuss matters of substance, 
since the basic policy decisions had yet to be taken by the United States with 
regard to the problems that would have to be examined at such a meeting. 
For instance, the U.S. military staffs had no policy guidance on what was 
probably the major problem— the action to be taken if the British Fleet 
moved to the North American east coast. Morgenthau pointed out, how- 
ever, that the United States had something to gain from such discussions, for, 
in the event war came to North American territory, a knowledge of Canadian 
defense plans and capabilities would be helpful, not to mention the possi- 
bility of effecting some co-ordination of those defense plans with U.S. plans. 
Later the same day President Roosevelt consulted with the officials who had 
participated in the round of discussions and authorized informal staff talks, 
which were to be secret and not to involve commitments. 47 

In preparation for the coming Canadian staff visit, the U.S. Army and 
Navy staffs made a detailed examination of the statements of Canadian 
requirements that had been presented in Ottawa and Washington. The rec- 
ommendations of the staff planners were recorded in their hastily prepared 
report dated 5 July 1940, "Decisions Required If Military Assistance Is To 
Be Afforded to Canada in the Immediate Future." 48 The report considered 
the three categories of Canadian requirements: materiel, training assistance, 
and forces, the last having been requested in the event of emergency. The 
U.S. planners concluded that the materiel requests, which included over 
200,000 rifles, must have been based on the assumption of an attack in force, 
whereas raids would probably be the largest German capability. The only 
weapons they felt could be made available were 28,500 Enfield rifles, plus 
20,000 earmarked for Eire if the latter were not sent. Ammunition for these 
rifles would not be available until January 1941. As to training assistance, 
they felt that the expansion of U.S. programs would require all available 
training personnel and facilities, although they did feel that 1,200 personnel 
could be accepted for "on-the-job" training with units. 

The planners examined the desirability of immediate deployment of U.S. 
troops to Canada and Newfoundland, rather than the emergency employ- 
ment contemplated by the Canadians. The deployment of U.S. troops, they 
said, would involve the neutral United States in the war. Furthermore, the 
available forces could not be sent to those locations since they were inade- 
quate even to occupy other Western Hemisphere possessions that might 
soon need to be garrisoned. The staff planners recommended that troops be 
sent only when attack was imminent and that planned reinforcements be 

47 Morgenthau Diary, Vol. 279, PP- 145-50; Moffat Diary; Hull, Memoirs, II, 834. 

48 The report is filed at WPD 4330-1. 



limited to one reinforced infantry division and a composite air group for 
Newfoundland plus a second reinforced division with supporting corps and 
army troops for the Maritime Provinces. 

The recommendations were not acted upon formally, but they were appar- 
ently used as the basis of the U.S. position in the conversations that ensued. 
On 12 July the Canadian staff officers — Brigadier Kenneth Stuart, Deputy 
Chief of the General Staff; Captain L. W. Murray, Deputy Chief of the 
Naval Staff; and Air Commodore A. A. L. Cuffe, of the Royal Canadian Air 
Force (RCAF) Air Staff— arrived in Washington. The same day they met 
and discussed Canada's defense problems with Brig. Gen. George V. Strong, 
Assistant Chief of Staff, War Plans Division, and other officers of the War 
and Navy Departments. 49 

The discussions were apparently inconclusive and left certain questions 
incompletely considered. A few weeks thereafter written reviews of these 
discussions and a restatement of the Canadian estimate of the situation were 
transmitted to the War Department. 50 They emphasized that reinforcement 
by Canada of the meager Canadian garrison of one infantry battalion and one 
flight of patrol aircraft already in Newfoundland would require equipment 
assistance from the United States, for the Canadian equipment shortage was 
most serious. The assistance immediately sought was equipment, and not 
troops. In the event of an emergency need for U.S. intervention, it was esti- 
mated that three divisions in the Maritimes would probably suffice. The 
study also suggested the possibility that it might be desirable for the United 
States, after its entry into the war, to take over the entire defense of New- 
foundland. 51 

The staff discussions in Washington appear to have had no significant 
impact on the conclusions already reached by the U.S. staff planners in pre- 
paring for the 12 July meeting. Materiel assistance capabilities were esti- 
mated as before. However, the possibility of having to send reinforcements 
to the Maritimes and Newfoundland was accepted as sufficiently good to 
warrant the War Plans Division of the War Department General Staff to 
request the Intelligence Division to prepare the detailed information on those 
areas that would be needed in the event troops were actually sent there. 52 

While exploration of this avenue of approach seemed to have reached a 
dead end, pressures in Canada and elsewhere for some form of defense co- 
operation between the two countries continued to increase. Canadian pessi- 

49 Memo/Conv, Moffat and J. L. Ralston, 10 Jul 40, Moffat Diary. 

50 Ltr, Brig K. Stuart to Brig Gen G. V. Strong, 5 Aug 40, PDB 104-4. 

51 This suggestion is interesting in the light of the a ction the C anadian Government took 
with respect to Newfoundland two weeks later. See belowlpp. 29—30.1 

" Memo, 5 Aug 40, WPD 3845-3. 



mism as to the future reached its lowest depths in the period after the 
capitulation of France on 17 June. A week later U.S. Minister Moffat, in 
summarizing the impressions of his first ten days in Canada, reported to 
Washington that, as the rush of events had moved the war closer to North 
America and disrupted the Canadian war program, the conviction was devel- 
oping among Canadians that some form of concerted action was necessary. 
When the isolationist Chicago Tribune on 19 June editorially advocated a 
formal military alliance, Canadians were surprised and impressed, and their 
conviction was strengthened. 53 

A group of influential people within and without the Canadian Govern- 
ment, viewing the quickened preparations of the partially aroused colossus to 
the south, realized that new problems might present themselves from that 
quarter, too, unless some means of collaboration on a basis satisfactory to 
Canada could be established. 54 This group reached conclusions along the 
following lines: A United States bent on large-scale preparations for its own 
defense and that of the hemisphere would be determined to take adequate 
measures wherever they might be needed. If concerned about the inadequacy 
of the meager Canadian defenses, it might and probably would insist on act- 
ing to augment them. Canada would have to co-operate voluntarily or 
involuntarily. If, in considering the U.S. defense requirements in Canadian 
territory, Canada unduly emphasized its independence of action, it might pro- 
voke the United States to a strong attitude that could threaten loss of Cana- 
dian national identity. It appeared that the best way to prevent such a turn 
of events would be frankly to admit Canadian inability adequately to protect 
its air, sea, and ground frontiers and to request U.S. co-operation in provid- 
ing such protection on a continental or perhaps even hemispheric basis. 

During the latter part of July Canadian opinion as to British ability to 
withstand German attack became much more optimistic as a result of the suc- 
cess of the British air defenses, the German failure to launch an assault, and 
other factors. But public favor in Canada for a consultative arrangement 
with the United States continued to grow. 55 In the Canadian House of 
Commons the Prime Minister was asked on at least two occasions if defense 
arrangements were being co-ordinated with the United States and if a formal 
defensive treaty could be effected. King, keenly aware of the political implica- 
"Ott Leg Telg 147, 23 Jun 40, D/S 711.42/193. 

54 On 17-18 July a group of twenty Canadians, including government officials, scholars, and 
other influential people, met and drafted "A Program of Immediate Canadian Action." The rest 
of the paragraph in the text reflects the tenor of the group's report. The group included Brooke 
Claxton, Hugh Keenleyside, Alexander Skelton, R. A. MacKay, R. M. Lower, George Ferguson, 
and others. This rather remarkable document is filed at WPD 4330. 

"Ott Leg Desp 176, 26 Jul 40, D/S 740.0011 EW 1939/4900. 



tions in the United States of the latter step, pointed out that such a treaty 
might be received differently in a neutral United States than in Canada, and 
cautioned that, with the U.S. elections approaching, public discussion in 
Canada of such a treaty might be inadvisable. 56 

Early in August 1940, when Canadian-U.S. negotiations were at a stand- 
still, other developments moved to the front of the stage. Churchill's 
efforts since May to obtain a number of U.S. destroyers was by July receiv- 
ing the support of a group of citizens in the United States who called them- 
selves the Century Group and who, on 11 July, advanced the proposal that 
the destroyers be traded for bases in the British possessions in the Western 
Hemisphere. The group widely publicized its proposals, which were circu- 
lated in a more detailed form to the President and other officials concerned 
in the latter part of July. 57 

At a Cabinet meeting on 2 August, the decision was reached by the Presi- 
dent and his advisers to seek a workable arrangement for effecting the trade. 
The preceding day Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox had suggested to Brit- 
ish Ambassador Lothian that the British desire for destroyers might be 
usefully linked with an offer of bases. The suggestion bore fruit, and on 4 
August Lothian advised Secretary Hull that Great Britain was prepared to 
offer to the United States facilities for naval and air bases in the Caribbean 
and Antilles areas, "as well as the use of the facilities for aircraft in New- 
foundland which were constructed by the British Government at a cost of 
three quarters of a million pounds." A memorandum transmitted the fol- 
lowing day amplified the entire offer and stated that "United States aircraft 
[would] ... be authorized to make occasional training nights to Newfound- 
land and to make use of the airport there." 58 

The 4 August conversation was the first specific interjection of a New- 
foundland base into the destroyer-bases discussions, and it immediately made 
the negotiations a matter of concern to Canada. Newfoundland, adjacent to 
but not a part of Canada, had in 1934 yielded its government to a Royal 
Commission, appointed in Great Britain, in order to obtain British assist- 
ance in solving its financial difficulties. Nevertheless, Canada had always 
considered Newfoundland of vital strategic importance and counted the de- 
fense of the island a major responsibility in the event of war. The day 

56 The questioners were Messrs. M. J. Coldwell (Rosetown-Biggar) and Jean Pouliot 
(Temiscouata), H. C. Debates, 31 Jul 40, pp. 2190-91, and 6 Aug 40, pp. 2539-40. 

" For detailed accounts of the development of the destroyer-bases deal, see Langer and 
Gleason, The Challenge to Isolation, Ch. XXII, and Conn and Fairchild, The Framework of 
Hemisphere Defense, Ch. II. 

,8 Memo/Conv, Hull, Lothian, and others, 4 Aug 40, D/S 841.34/370-1/2; Ltr, Lothian to 
President, 5 Aug 40, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 59. 



before he requested a declaration of war on Germany, Prime Minister King 
had declared that "the integrity of Newfoundland and Labrador is essential 
to the security of Canada," and had proposed that Canada aid in its defense. 59 
Shortly thereafter Canada sent some Lewis machine guns and rifles to New- 
foundland. In June, after the defeat of France, Prime Minister King 
announced that Canadian armed forces had arrived for duty in Newfound- 
land, where they were to defend the Newfoundland airport and other strategic 
areas. 60 In July 1940, when a new Canadian naval command for the Atlantic 
coast was established, Newfoundland was included within its defense area, as 
was also done for the Canadian Army Atlantic Command established on 
1 August. Thus Newfoundland was for defense purposes affirmed to be a 
part of Canada. 61 

Elsewhere developments were taking place with respect to British-U.S. 
collaboration which appear also to have had a bearing on Canadian-U.S. co- 
operation, although, the extent of this bearing is not clear. Whereas the 
June Canadian request for staff talks had initially received a more auspicious 
reception than the concurrent British request, by early August the situation 
had been reversed. The Canadian-U.S. talks were at a standstill. The Brit- 
ish proposals for staff talks, initially rebuffed, were later accepted on a modi- 
fied basis, and, in August 1940, senior U.S. Army and Army Air officers 
joined with a Navy colleague already in London in informal talks. 62 

Prime Minister King had been a partner in the efforts to bring about a 
closer U.S. -United Kingdom collaboration. Churchill, in his 5 June tele- 
gram, had specifically asked King to make such efforts. 63 However, it appears 
likely that Canadian disappointment in the desultory progress of the Canadian- 
U.S. staff talks was increased by the establishment of British-U.S. staff liaison 
in London. With the German frontier upon the Atlantic coast, and with some 
prospect of the war moving even closer to North America, the Canadian 
Government probably viewed with some concern these developments for col- 
laboration among the three countries. The over-all direction by His 
Majesty's Government in London of Canada's war effort within a British 
Commonwealth framework, and in close consultation with Ottawa, was ac- 
ceptable and desirable when the battles were being fought in Europe. Under 

59 H. C. Debates, 8 Sep 39, p. 35. Newfoundland as a political entity comprises Labrador 
and the island of Newfoundland. 

60 Stacey, The Canadian Army, 1939-1945, p. 43; H. C. Debates, 18 Jun 40, p. 854. King's 
earlier statement on 20 May that "our troops are assisting in the defense of strategic areas in 
Newfoundland" (H, C. Debates, p. 43) apparently referred to the materiel assistance provided 
earlier, and not to a troop garrison. 

H. C. Debates, 29 Jul 40, p. 2093. 

62 A British-U.S. service liaison had been established as early as December 1937. The best 
account of its development is given in the Kittredge monograph. A good account may be found 
in Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations. 

63 H. C. Debates, 17 Feb 41, p. 813; Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p. 146. 



the same circumstances, a close British-U.S. liaison was acceptable. But as 
those battles moved closer to its shores, Canada would understandably want 
a stronger voice in the war councils and would feel that problems of North 
American defense should be considered and decided in a Canadian-U.S. forum. 
The projection of the United States into the Newfoundland defense scheme, 
together with these developments in collaborative arrangements, apparently 
increased the Canadian desire to effect a closer defense relationship with the 
United States and motivated Canada to formalize its defense relationship with 
the Newfoundland Government. 

Subsequent to the decision made at President Roosevelt's 13 August Cab- 
inet meeting to press the destroyer-bases agreement, the detailed U.S. pro- 
posals were transmitted to the British Prime Minister. On 15 August 
Churchill acknowledged their receipt gratefully, and stated: "Tt will be nec- 
essary for us to consult the Governments of Newfoundland and Canada about 
the Newfoundland base, in which Canada has an interest. We are at once 
proceeding to seek their consent." 64 

Late on 13 August Loring Christie, the Canadian Minister in Washing- 
ton, met with Sumner Welles, the Acting Secretary of State, and reported 
that he was under instructions from his Prime Minister to seek an interview 
with the President on the U.S. -United Kingdom destroyer negotiations. 
Welles telephoned the White House to ask for an appointment on the next 
day so that Christie could deliver an important message from King. 65 

King's message, which Welles delivered to the President on 14 August, 
apparently included the suggestion that the two heads of government meet 
in upper New York during a trip the President contemplated. 66 On the 

64 Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p. 407. The wording suggests the possibility that Ottawa 
had approached London in this vein, although the point can be clarified only by consulting the 
records in Ottawa or London. 

"Memo/Conv, Christie and R. Atherton, 13 Aug 40, D/S 841.34/370; Memo, Brig Gen 
E. M. Watson for President, 14 Aug 40, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 62. Christie was 
told that Welles could not be seen before 5:00 P. M. on the 14th, but he pressed the im- 
portance of an earlier meeting successfully. 

66 Memorandums by Welles recording the important conversations with Christie on the 13th 
and the President on the 14th could not be found despite careful search. This gap in the doc- 
umentation makes it impossible accurately to establish the nature of Prime Minister King's 
representations and their bearing on the events of the next few days. Welles has stated it is 
his "strong belief that King's message included the suggested meeting and that after discussion 
with the President, he (Welles) informed Christie of the President's willingness to meet with 
King as well as of the status of the discussions with Churchill. (Ltr to author, 25 Aug 53.) 
Hugh Keenleyside, who was probably in a position to know, has stated in a manuscript that 
Prime Minister King took the initiative in suggesting the Ogdensburg meeting. (The Canada- 
U.S. Permanent Joint Board on Defense, 1940-1945 [cited hereafter as Keenleyside MS], copy 
filed at PDB 100-2.) If this statement is accurate, Prime Minister King's proposal may well 
have been made in the message delivered orally to the President on the 14th. Alternatively, it 
might have been advanced in a telephone conversation between King and Roosevelt, who fairly 
frequently conversed in this manner. However, this possibility could not be explored since the 
White House kept no record of such conversations and did not even record what important 
telephone calls had taken place. 



same day Moffat, the U.S. Minister in Ottawa, wrote Welles discussing at 
length the growing demand in Canada for a joint defense understanding with 
the United States. According to Moffat, all elements among Canadians were 
now pressing for such an arrangement, though the Prime Minister realized 
that any open initiative on his part might cause embarrassment or at least 
controversy in the United States. Welles sent Moffat's report to the Presi- 
dent on 16 August. With Prime Minister King's message and the Moffat 
report before him, President Roosevelt was ready to act. 67 

Roosevelt was to leave Washington on the evening of 16 August by train 
to proceed to Pine Camp in northern New York State to see Army maneu- 
vers there the following day. The trip provided an excellent opportunity 
for a meeting with Prime Minister King, and the President telegraphed King 
suggesting that he come to Ogdensburg to meet him. On the same day, 
and before receipt of a reply, Roosevelt acted on one of the points mentioned 
in Moffat's report. At a White House press conference, he stated that con- 
versations were going forward between the two governments on the defense 
of the Americas. That evening King's acceptance reached the President 
aboard his train a half-hour after its departure, and Roosevelt announced the 
forthcoming meeting to press reporters aboard the train. 68 Afterward he 
again discussed the impending meeting at a press conference at the maneu- 
ver headquarters in Ogdensburg on 17 August before King's arrival. He 
told reporters that the discussion with King would concern Pan American 
defense and a specific course of action vis-a-vis Canada involving "greater 
ties than we have had in the past." 69 

The Ogdensburg Declaration 

Prime Minister King arrived in Ogdensburg by automobile shortly before 
7:00 P.M. on 17 August. At President Roosevelt's request, Moffat accom- 
panied King from Ottawa. The party boarded the President's train, which 

67 The Moffat letter and Welles' covering note of 16 August 1940 to the President are in 
the Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 62. 

Mayor LaGuardia of New York City, who was assigned an important position on the board 
which was to be established by Roosevelt and Prime Minister King of Canada a few days later, 
met in Washington with the President on 15 August. LaGuardia advised reporters they had 
talked about problems of civil defense. Although the President may have been contemplating 
the actions that followed in the next few days, it appears that they were touched off on the 
16th by the Moffat letter and that the LaGuardia meeting was a coincidence. The meeting 
apparently had no greater significance in regard to the Canadian situation than that it perhaps 
put LaGuardia's name in the President's mind as a candidate for the U.S. chairmanship. When 
the news of the designation reached LaGuardia a few days later, it was reportedly a complete 
surprise to him. Unfortunately, as a matter of course no written record was made of the President's 
White House interviews and consequently this point and many others must remain obscure. 

68 The New York Times, August 17, 1940. 

69 Roosevelt Papers, Press Conferences, Box 215. 



moved approximately eight miles to Heuvelton, New York, for the night. 
That evening the President and the Prime Minister, together with Secretary 
of War Henry L. Stimson, who had accompanied Roosevelt to the maneuver 
area, dined together and continued to confer until after 11:00 P.M. 

Several accounts of the discussions are available. Stimson recorded a first- 
hand account in his diary. MofTat similarly recorded the account rendered 
by King during the course of their return drive to Ottawa, and King later 
gave a summary report on the meeting in the House of Commons on 12 

The meeting and discussions were a complete surprise to Secretary of 
War Stimson. According to his account, President Roosevelt opened the 
informal meeting by reciting the history of the destroyer-bases negotiations 
and enumerating the different places in the British possessions where there 
were to be naval and air bases. Then, according to Stimson, when the Pres- 
ident "came to the Canadian matter, he pointed out that of course Canada 
being a dominion, the negotiation must be with Canada, and that was the 
purpose of the meeting that night." He went on to suggest establishment 
of a joint board, composed of representatives from each country, which should 
discuss plans for the defense of the northern half of the Western Hemisphere, 
but particularly against attack by way of the St. Lawrence or the northeastern 
coast of Canada. "He pointed out that he wanted to have a naval base and 
an air base somewhere in that region. He mentioned specifically some place 
like Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, or some place further along to the eastward 
along the Nova Scotia coast." 71 

Additional light is cast on the discussions by Moffat's record of the 
account given him by King. In describing the destroyer-bases negotiations, 
Roosevelt indicated that, if Canada wanted any of the ships, this was a mat- 
ter for United Kingdom-Canadian negotiation. As to the bases needed, these 
fell into three groups — those to be selected by the United States and Great 
Britain; those in Newfoundland, where Canada had an interest; and those 
in Canada, which would be selected by the United States and Canada. King 
felt that the Canadian base or bases would be granted by the Canadian Gov- 
ernment under its war powers and without submission of the matter to Par- 
liament. The practical arrangement would involve a limited free port where 
the United States would establish docks and facilities. In order to avoid 
hurting Canadian feelings, the United States would not object to the use of 

70 King was apparently in the habit of writing memorandums recording his conversations 
with the President, and presumably such a record for the Ogdensburg discussions may be found 
in Ottawa. 

71 Stimson Diary, 17 Aug 40. 


Canadian forces to defend such bases. As to the new board, Under Secre- 
tary of the Navy James V. Forrestal had been mentioned as the probable 
head of the U.S. section, while it was thought tentatively that the other mem- 
bers would be the heads of the armed services. 7 - 

After spending the night on the train, Roosevelt and King reviewed a 
display of military aircraft and, it being Sunday attended a military memorial 
service. On returning to the train at Ogdensbutg, the two drafted a joint 
statement for issue to the press that embodied the agreement reached the 
preceding day. The release, made shortly before King's departure for Ottawa 
at 1:00 P.M. on 18 August, the second anniversary of Roosevelt's pledge at 
Kingston, read as follows: 

The Prime Minister and the President have discussed the mutual problems of defense 
in relation to the safety of Canada and the United States. 

It has been agreed that a Permanent Joint Board on Defense shall be set j 
by the two countries, 

This Permanent Joint Board on Defense shall commence imn 

to sea, land and air problems including personnel and material. 

It will consider in the broad sense the defense of the north half of the Western 

he Permanent Joint Board on Defense will consist of four or five members from each 
country, mosr of them from the services. It will meet shortly/' 

The outcome of the two-day meeting was eminently gratifying to its par- 
ticipants. Stimson told the others he "felt that it was very possibly the turn- 
ing point in the tide of the war," and that from then on they could hope 
for better things. He recorded, too, that King, who "was perfectly delighted 
with the whole thing," told the President his "courage and initiative in 
bringing [it] . . . out would be a most tremendous encouragement to the 
morale of Great Britain and Canada." In reporting on the Ogdensburg 
meeting to the House of Commons in November, King also called it the 
most significant development in international affairs since the Parliament had 
1 three months earlier, and said, "in ultimate importance, it far sur- 
the formation of the triple axis,""' 4 
Moffat's subsequent analysis for the State Department noted that the joint 
statement was the fruition of twenty years of work toward one of King's 
three major goals, which were the establishment and maintenance of Cana- 
dian autonomy, support of the Commonwealth as a policy in the Canadian 

"Memo/Conv. Moffat and King. IB Aug 40, Moffat Diary. In his account of the dis- 
cussion on leased bases. King mentioned that he had suggested such a trade to Churchill two 
months earlier and regretted that this time had been lost. The reader will recall the similar 
suggestion by Power ro Moffat on 29 June. 

15 Canadian Treaty Series (CTS). 1^40, No, 14; Department of State Bulletin, August 24, 
1940. Ill, 154. 

- 1 Henry L. Stimson and McGeorge Bundy, 0k Attitt Service in Peace ami Wat (New York: 
Harper & Brothers, 1947), p. 359; Stimson Diary, 17 Aug 40; H C. Debates, 12 Nov 40, p. 54. 



interest, and the promotion of a close U.S. -Canadian friendship with the ob- 
jectives of speeding Canadian development and bringing Great Britain and 
the United States closer together as the best guarantee of peace. Despite 
his constant efforts toward this third goal, King had probably not dared hope 
for an arrangement as far reaching as that completed at Ogdensburg, and it is 
likely that no one was more surprised by it than he. 75 

Prime Minister Churchill telegraphed King expressing the hope, but not 
the conviction, that the Canadian public would approve the Ogdensburg 
action. His estimate proved inaccurate, for with minor exceptions Cana- 
dians unanimously acclaimed it. Support from opposition elements included 
that of the ultraconservative Tories, who saw the declaration as a step 
toward U.S. alliance with the British Empire. Only minor notes of crit- 
icism were heard. These suggested that the United States would exact polit- 
ical concessions from a dependent Canada, or that the step appeared to be a 
Canadian hunt for cover and a desertion of a Britain facing the possibility 
of defeat. Nevertheless, these voices were small amidst the general acclaim, 
and they served principally to evoke, in response, more numerous expressions 
of approval that served to clear the air. 76 

The general Canadian reaction was matched by the U.S. response, indi- 
cated by a November 1940 public opinion poll. Of those queried about the 
Permanent Joint Board on Defense, 83.8 percent approved its establishment, 
while only 5.2 percent disapproved. 77 This reaction approximated that of a 
June 1940 poll, when 81 percent of the Americans interviewed were ready 
to employ U.S. armed forces to aid Canada if it were attacked. The U.S. 
attitude of community of defense interest with Canada was markedly diver- 
gent from the U.S. reaction to the European war. Months later, in April 
1941, over two- thirds of those polled were unwilling to send either Army or 
Navy units to Europe to help Great Britain. 78 

The arrangement embodied in the Ogdensburg statement was one mas- 
terfully designed to meet the needs of both leaders. Limiting the scope of 
the arrangement to mutual defense problems made it generally acceptable 
politically in the United States, where public opinion strongly opposed active 
participation in the war. As if to reject completely any suggestion of aggres- 
sive intent, the word "defense" appeared five times in the 109 words of the 
statement, once in each sentence but the last. 

At King's suggestion, according to the President, the Joint Board on 

75 Ott Leg Desp, 21 Dec 40, D/S 842.00 P.R./192. 

76 Memo/Conv, Moffat and King, 13 Sep 40, Moffat Diary; Leg Ott Telg, to Department of 
State, 20 Aug 40, D/S 810.20 Def/153; Leg Desp, to Secy State, 30 Aug 40, PDB 100-2. 

77 Public Opinion Quarterly, V (March 1941), 164. 

78 Ibid., (Fall 1941), 483, 496. 



Defense was designated as a "Permanent" one. 79 By indicating a collabo- 
rative arrangement designed to outlast the war and to serve the two coun- 
tries indefinitely, this designation also helped to counter any suggestion that 
the arrangement would hasten U.S. participation in World War II. 

The Permanent Joint Board, the declaration stated, was to comprise serv- 
ice representatives and civilians, and, on 22 August when the membership 
was announced, the chairman of each of the two national sections was a 
civilian. The inclusion of civilians raised the Board from the military staff 
level to a higher politico-military level. This step also appears to have been 
a concession to the still ardent desire of a neutral United States to avoid 
actions that might speed its involvement in the war. 

The Ogdensburg press release stated that the Board would make defense 
studies, including problems of personnel and material. These terms of ref- 
erence highlighted for the Board, as it embarked on its endeavors, two major 
Canadian problems. The terms also limited the Board to an advisory func- 
tion, with no executive powers, since the Board's recommendations would 
be submitted to the two governments for their approval. In the Board the 
vote of the great United States would count for no more than the vote of 
Canada with one-tenth as large a population. The arrangement promised 
to allow full expression of the Canadian view and to give Canada adequate 
control over the defense measures that might be proposed for northern North 
America. The President's stated purpose in arranging the Ogdensburg meet- 
ing—to obtain for the United States one or more bases in Canada— found 
no expression in the joint press release. Geographically, the Permanent 
Joint Board was given broad scope in its mandate to consider "the defense 
of the north half of the Western Hemisphere." 80 

In establishing the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, President Roose- 
velt and Prime Minister King followed, be it consciously or unconsciously, 

79 Ltr, John D. Hickerson to Lewis Clark, 27 Nov 44, D/S Office of Dominion Affairs file, 
PJBD Membership. 

90 The use the Board made of the geographic rein given it will be discussed in |Chapter IT] 

A few years later an official Canadian publication stated that it was hardly a coincidence that 
the Ogdensburg statement, with its geographic charter extending across South America to the 
equator, was made less than three weeks after the meeting of inter-American foreign ministers 
at Havana. "It also meant that for all practical intents and purposes Canada had underwritten 
the Monroe Doctrine, a doctrine that had been extended to Canada" by President Roosevelt's 
Kingston speech in 1938. (Canadian Wartime Information Board, "Canada and the Inter- 
American System," Reference Paper 34 [Ottawa: 16 Feb 45].) No evidence has been found 
showing a direct connection between the occurrence of the Ogdensburg meeting and considera- 
tions of Pan American defense planning. The foregoing statements should be viewed in the 
light of the fact that Reference Paper 34, which was published to inform Canadians about the 
inter-American system, argued strongly in favor of Canadian adherence. 



a fairly well-defined pattern for joint collaborative mechanisms between the 
two countries. They could probably have chosen from a range of military 
and/or political relationships, varying from something similar to the British- 
U.S. Combined Chiefs of Staff committee established later to a purely infor- 
mal and consultative liaison arrangement. Actually, the Board was similar 
in composition and function to several other Canadian-U.S. agencies already 
in existence. 

In 1909 the United States and Great Britain had signed a treaty relating 
to boundary problems between Canada and the United States. 81 The treaty 
provided for the establishment of an International Joint Commission, a full- 
time body made up of six commissioners, three Canadian and three Ameri- 
can. The commission was granted final authority over certain questions 
relating to boundary waters, and was also to investigate and report upon 
such other boundary questions as the two signatories might agree to refer 
to it. The commission had been markedly successful in solving boundary 
questions, which up to the time of its establishment had been a continuing 
thorn in the relationships of the two countries. 82 

By 1940 this precedent had been followed in solving several other gen- 
erally similar problems, all pertaining to jointly used fisheries, although the 
authority and purposes of the bodies varied slightly in each instance. The 
International Fisheries Commission performed certain advisory and operating 
functions for the North Pacific and Bering Sea halibut fisheries; the Inter- 
national Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission made recommendations for 
the preservation of the Fraser River salmon fisheries; and a Board of Inquiry 
for the Great Lakes Fisheries performed similar functions for those waters. 
It is probably a fair estimate that the successful work of the International 
Joint Commission and of the other similar bodies suggested to the President 
and Prime Minister the use of a similar mechanism to study common defense 

The actions taken at Ogdensburg in August 1940 have been variously 
referred to as the Ogdensburg Agreement and the Ogdensburg Declaration. 
A few weeks after the meeting Prime Minister King, in a letter to the Presi- 
dent, made a distinction between the two, expressing the opinion that the 
"Ogdensburg Agreement" was reached on 17 August during the long eve- 
ning discussion and should carry that date. The Ogdensburg Declaration, 

81 United States Treaty Series (TS), 548; British Treaty Series, 1910, No. 23. 

* 2 For a detailed study of the commission, see Chirakaikaran J. Chacko, The International 
Joint Commission (New York: Columbia University Press, 1932). See also A. G. L. McNaughton, 
"Organization and Responsibilities of the International Joint Commission," Engineering Journal. 
XXXIV (January 1951), 2-4, 12. 



made on the 18th, "was merely the statement of terms." King made the 
same distinction in informing Moffat that he had asked the President for 
his view, but he acknowledged the merit of using the 18th, which was the 
anniversary of the President's Kingston speech. The President apparently 
never responded to King's discussion of the choice between dates, and, in 
reporting on the meeting to the House of Commons in November, the 
Canadian Prime Minister stated that "the Ogdensburg Agreement was 
reached on August 17" and the "joint statement with respect to the agree- 
ment which had been reached was, on August 18, released for publication." 83 

On the U.S. side, neither King's distinction nor any views of the President 
thereon reached the staff levels concerned with implementation of the 
arrangements. The joint statement of 18 August was published in the offi- 
cial Department of State Bulletin without use of a title. That date has been 
generally accepted by U.S. agencies, and the predominant usage has favored 
the Ogdensburg Declaration alternate, although the term "Agreement" has 
also been applied. 84 On the Canadian side, the predominant usage seems 
to have been the Ogdensburg Agreement. 85 

The importance that each of the parties attached to the declaration can 
probably not be measured by the degree of formality by which each subscribed 
to it. Prime Minister King submitted to the Ministerial Committee of the 
Privy Council his report, dated 20 August 1940, narrating his conversations 
with the President and recommending that his actions be ratified and con- 
firmed. King's Cabinet Ministers concurred in his recommendations and 
submitted them to the Governor General, who approved them by a minute 
of council on 21 August, thus formally ratifying and confirming the estab- 
lishment of the. Permanent Joint Board on Defense. 86 In the United States, 
the Ogdensburg Declaration was merely published in the Department of 

8 * Ltr, King to Roosevelt, 7 Sep 40, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 69; Memo/Conv, King 
and Moffat, 3 Oct 40, U.S. Emb 715/710 Prime Minister; H. C. Debates, 12 Nov 40, pp. 54, 57. 
By coincidence, 17 August (1874) was King's birthday. If this distinction is made, it is interesting 
to note that the "Ogdensburg Agreement" was actually reached at Heuvelton. 

84 For example, it was used by the President in Samuel Rosenman (compiler), The Public 
Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, XIII, Victory and the Threshold of Peace, 1944-45 
(New York: Harper & Brothers, 1950), p. 589, and by Secretary of State Hull in his note dated 
30 November 1942 published in Executive Agreement Series (EAS), 287. 

85 See the repeated references to the Ogdensburg Agreement by King in his 12 November 
1940 report to Parliament, H. C. Debates, pp. 54-61; Canada, Dominion Bureau of Statistics, 
The Canada Year Book, 1945 (Ottawa: E. Cloutier, King's Printer, 1945), p. 705; and Canada 
at War, No. 25 (Jun 43), p. 57, No. 30 (Nov 43), p. 39, and No. 32 (Jan 44), p. 56. The 
last publication erroneously states in each instance, "Canada and the United States signed the 

86 King described the procedure to the Parliament in these terms, which appear to exaggerate 
the formality of the procedure of obtaining Canadian governmental approval. (H. C. Debates, 
12 Nov 40, pp. 56-57. ) 



State Bulletin. The President issued no written instruction directing imple- 
mentation of the declaration, but he indicated this to be his desire during 
the course of his telephone conversations from Hyde Park on 19 August to 
the Departments of State, War, and Navy. Soon after its publication, the 
State Department was queried by Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg as to 
whether the Ogdensburg Agreement should be submitted to the Senate for 
its constitutional advice and consent. The Secretary of State replied that the 
agreement hardly constituted a treaty, since it provided only for the study of 
defense problems, and was "more properly to be denominated an Executive 
Agreement." As an executive agreement, the President did not consider it 
necessary formally to submit the Ogdensburg Agreement to the Senate. 87 
The Canadian Government formalized the declaration by publishing it in its 
Treaty Series. 88 Before taking this action Canada consulted the Department 
of State as to its intentions regarding the publication of "certain agreements 
between our two Governments, including the Ogdensburg Agreement." 89 
The Department of State replied that parallel U.S. action would not be taken, 
since only signed or written agreements were printed in the Executive Agree- 
ment Series and since the text had already been published in the Depart- 
ment of State Bulletin. 90 

On the U.S. side, the Permanent Joint Board on Defense was, it is clear, 
the personal creation of President Roosevelt. The War and Navy Depart- 
ments were not consulted as to their views on the need for such a board or 
on its composition and terms of reference, and were not even aware of the 
President's intention to set up a board. The President had stated his pur- 
pose in meeting at Ogdensburg and in establishing the Board to be the 
acquisition of one or more bases in Canada which his military advisers had 
not considered necessary. Indeed, they were loath to contemplate the deploy- 
ment of forces to eastern Canada, except when attack should become immi- 
nent. Nevertheless, the War and Navy Departments proceeded to implement 
the President's undertaking and to carry out the declared objectives of the 
Permanent Joint Board on Defense. 

Of the chain of events set in motion in early August, one more should 
be noted. The sudden projection of the United States into the Newfound- 
land defense picture during the destroyer-bases negotiations apparently moti- 
vated Canada not only to join readily in a collaborative arrangement with 

87 Congressional Record, Vol. 86, Pt. II, p. 12056. 

88 CTS, 1940, No. 14. 

89 Ltrs, H. Wrong, Cdn Leg, to Hickerson, 25 Jul and 11 Sep 41, D/S 842.20 Def/93 1/2 
and/ 129. 

90 Ltr, Hickerson to Cdn Minister Counselor, 8 Oct 41, D/S 842.20 Def/91. 



the United States but also to formalize its defense relationship with the 
Newfoundland Government. On 18 August Prime Minister King and Presi- 
dent Roosevelt issued the Ogdensburg Declaration announcing the intended 
establishment of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense. On 20 August, two 
days later and before the first meeting of the Board, an official Canadian mis- 
sion arrived in St. John's, the capital of Newfoundland. In this interim 
period the mission carried out its task in St. John's. 91 During its stay on 
20 and 21 August the mission, headed by Mr. C. G. Power, Minister 
of National Defense for Air, and including senior staff officers and command- 
ers, fully considered the problems of Newfoundland defense and reached 
agreement in broad detail with the Newfoundland Government on all ques- 
tions of co-ordination of defense measures. Under the arrangements effected 
Canada assumed responsibility for the security of Newfoundland. 92 

Thus by the eve of the first meeting of the Permanent Joint Board on 
Defense, Canada could view with satisfaction two important achievements. 
It had clearly established and formalized its defense interest in Newfound- 
land, and it had joined with the United States in a collaborative arrange- 
ment that promised to assist in meeting urgent Canadian defense require- 
ments on an acceptable basis. For its part the United States, still ostensibly 
neutral, had entered into a working partnership with a warring democracy. 

91 Dawson, Canada in World Affairs: 1939—1941, p. 214, conjectures as to whether this co- 
incidence with the Ogdensburg Declaration and the destroyer-bases deal was accident or design. 

92 Montreal Gazette. August 21 and 22, 1940. Compare this action with Brigadier Stuart's 
suggestion sixteen days earlier that, in the event of U.S. entry into the war, it might be desir- 
able for the United States to take over the full defense responsibility in Newfoundland. Later 
in August, the Canadian Army established a new Atlantic Command, which included Newfound- 
land as well as the Maritimes and most of Quebec. (Stacey, The Canadian Army, 1939-194!), 
P- 43.) 


The Permanent Joint Board 
on Defense 

The day after President Roosevelt and Prime Minister King announced 
their agreement to form the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, the Presi- 
dent directed the State, War, and Navy Departments to select members for 
the Board in order to permit the announcement of their designation on 22 
August and an initial meeting early in the week of 25 August. On 20 
August the Canadian Minister in Washington suggested to the Department 
of State that the Board meet initially in Ottawa on 22 August. He also 
suggested that the agenda for the meeting include discussions of the sea, air, 
and coastal defenses of Newfoundland and the eastern and western coastal 
areas of Canada and the United States, and of the problem of procuring arma- 
ment and ammunition. 1 

The United States was unable to be ready by the early date the Canadian 
Prime Minister had proposed, and King arranged instead, by telephone con- 
versation with President Roosevelt, for an initial meeting on the 26th. Dur- 
ing the conversation King suggested that each section include a recording 
secretary and indicated he would name Hugh L. Keenleyside of the Depart- 
ment of External Affairs, his special emissary to Washington the preceding 
June, to that post. Roosevelt responded that he would fill the additional 
position with a State Department officer of Welles' selection. 2 Later the 
same day, 22 August, the full membership of the new Board was announced. 3 

The Honorable Fiorello H. LaGuardia, president of the U.S. Conference 
of Mayors and Mayor of New York City, was named chairman of the U.S. 
Section. Its senior Army member was Lt. Gen. Stanley D. Embick, who 
had been commanding the Third Army. Captain Harry W. Hill, assigned 
to the War Plans Division of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 

' Ltr, Acting Secy State to SW, 20 Aug 40, PDB 100; The New York Times, August 20, 1940. 

2 Keenleyside MS; Memo/Conv, King and Moffat, 22 Aug 40, Moffat Diary. 

3 White House Press Release, 22 Aug 40. Although President Roosevelt during the Ogdens- 
burg meeting had tentatively mentioned James Forrestal of the Navy Department for the chairman- 
ship of the U.S. Section, the designation went to Mayor LaGuardia, who had met with the 
President on the eve of his departure for Ogdensburg. The three Canadian service designees 
were those who had participated in the informal staff talks in July. (Memo/Conv, King and 
Moffat, 18 Aug 40, Moffat Diary.) 



was appointed as the Navy member. Two Air officers, Commander Forrest 
P. Sherman of the Navy and Lt. Col. Joseph T. McNarney of the Army Air 
Corps, were assigned to the U.S. Section, and John D. Hickerson, the 
Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs, Department of State, 
was named secretary. 

The Canadian Section was headed by O. M. Biggar, K.C., a distinguished 
Ottawa barrister and retired Army colonel, as chairman. The Army mem- 
ber was Brigadier Kenneth Stuart, D.S.O., M.C., Deputy Chief of the 
Canadian General Staff; Captain L. W. Murray, Deputy Chief of the Naval 
Staff represented the Royal Canadian Navy; and Air Commodore A. A. L. 
Cuffe of the Air Staff, Royal Canadian Air Force, was appointed Air mem- 
ber. Hugh L. Keenleyside, Counselor of the Department of External Affairs, 
was named secretary of the Canadian Section. 

Since the first meeting of the Permanent Joint Board came almost as pre- 
cipitately as its establishment, there were few administrative preparations on 
the U.S. side beyond the formulation of an agenda. Pondering their mission 
and the broad terms of reference contained in the Ogdensburg Declaration, 
General Embick, Captain Hill, and Mr. Hickerson met on 23 August to dis- 
cuss the forthcoming meeting. As preparation for the discussions of military 
matters, they had before them the record of the informal staff conversations 
that had already taken place. Puzzled as to the role and specific duties Mayor 
LaGuardia would have in the military discussions that were anticipated, they 
concluded that the mayor would probably handle the mutual requirements 
for materials and production output. Hickerson counseled the members of 
the U.S. Section to consider the problems before the Board always in terms 
of reciprocal and mutual measures. If they did so, even though in many in- 
stances the necessary resources might be contributed largely or entirely by 
the United States, such an approach would naturally produce a more favor- 
able reaction on the part of the Canadian Section. 4 

A meeting of the U.S. Section took place the next day with President 
Roosevelt and Secretaries Stimson and Knox. The meeting, which Mayor 
LaGuardia joined after the discussions had begun, provided the President an 
opportunity to present his views on the duties of the Board and the question 
of defending Canada and the United States from attack. He discussed the 
action being taken to obtain bases in British territories in return for destroyers 
and the bearing of this action on the question of getting bases in Canada. 
There really was no relation, he pointed out, since the problem of securing 
U.S. bases in Canada was one for discussion with Ottawa, not London. 

4 Summary of Preparatory Conference, PDB 100. 



Knowing eastern Canada well, the President had some specific ideas as to 
where U.S. bases should be located to defend the United States against at- 
tack through Canada, and he proceeded to outline his views. With this 
guidance, the U.S. Section proceeded to Ottawa to meet with its Canadian 
counterpart. 5 

The initial meetings of the Permanent Joint Board took place as scheduled 
in Ottawa on 26-27 August 1940 and were most fruitful in terms of formal 
recommendations. The Board adopted seven recommendations during these 
meetings, more than one-fifth of the thirty-three made between the time of 
the Board's establishment and V-J Day. This can be explained in part by 
the fact that many problems had been urgently awaiting solution and some 
preliminary work had already been done on them at the earlier military staff 

Organization and Composition 

The Permanent Joint Board on Defense, Canada-United States, was or- 
ganized in two national sections, each with its own chairman and physically 
separate and independent administrative machinery. 6 Only on the occasion 
of the Board's scheduled meetings did the two sections unite as a single cor- 
porate body with but a single purpose— the adequate joint defense of the two 
countries. 7 At other times the members of the Board operated from the 
offices of the two sections, located in the respective capitals. At the Board 
meetings the two chairmen sat side by side, and when meetings were held in 
Canada the Canadian chairman presided, whereas at meetings in the United 
States the U.S. chairman did so. 8 

Supplementing the joint meetings of the two sections of the Permanent 
Joint Board was a continuous and substantial correspondence and telephonic 
liaison between the pairs of corresponding members of the Board. Through 
these means the Board followed up implementation of the conclusions and 
recommendations decided on at its meetings, paved the way for new pro- 
posals, and in a variety of ways facilitated the joint defense measures of the 
two countries. 

Officially, the primary mission of the Board was to make recommenda- 
tions, and its two sections had no executive authority or responsibility within 

5 Stimson Diary, 24 Aug 40. 

6 Although the past tense is used throughout this description of the Board, the organization 
and functioning described remained substantially unchanged at the time of this writing. 

7 Address by Gen A. G. L. McNaughton, 12 Apr 48, Department of External Affairs, State- 
ments and Speeches, No. 48/18. 

8 Keenleyside MS. Keenleyside was the Canadian secretary from the time of the Board's 
establishment until 1 September 1945. However, General McNaughton, who assumed Canadian 
chairmanship in August 1945, has indicated that during his tenure the chairmen had been pre- 
siding jointly. (McNaughton address cited above, n. 7.) 



their governments. One of the Canadian chairmen has stated that the strength 
of the Board lay in this fact. 9 Operating problems were, in theory, handled 
through the military attaches and, after its establishment in 1942, the Cana- 
dian Joint Staff in Washington. In practice, the Board did not limit itself 
to making policy recommendations, and in both Ottawa and Washington 
the sections of the Board, through their members drawn from the military 
departments and the Departments of State and of External Affairs, functioned 
informally and unofficially as executive agencies. Additionally, the substan- 
tial volume of correspondence between the two sections of the Board, and 
between the individual members and their counterparts, formed a major alter- 
nate channel between the military and political departments of the two 

The responsibility of the sections of the Permanent Joint Board was to 
the highest level of authority in each country. In the United States, formal 
recommendations were presented directly to the President, usually by the 
U.S. chairman or the secretary acting for him. Approval of a recommenda- 
tion constituted the basis for the necessary implementing action by the ap- 
propriate executive departments. The Canadian Section of the Board reported 
directly to the Cabinet War Committee, over which the Prime Minister pre- 
sided. 10 Its approval of Board recommendations constituted a directive for 
their execution. 

The two civilian chairmanships of the Permanent Joint Board were filled 
throughout the war by the men originally appointed. LaGuardia, who was 
selected as chairman of the U.S. Section by the President personally, retained 
his post until his death on 20 September 1947, at which time he was the last 
of the original members still serving on the Board. Less than two months 
before his designation, he had on 25 June 1940 addressed the U.S. Conference 
of Mayors in Ottawa. In this speech he had emphasized the importance to 
the United States of making secure all of the Western Hemisphere seaboard 
and had pointed out the need for Canadian-U.S. co-operation for this security. 
Biggar's tenure as chairman of the Canadian Section continued until shortly 
after V-J Day, although a period of illness beginning about January 1944 
forced his absence from subsequent Board meetings except for those held in 
April 1945. During his absence the Canadian secretary, Hugh Keenleyside, 
acted as chairman. % Table 1) 

The Canadian Army, Navy, and Air Force representatives functioned in 
two capacities — as Board members, and as staff officers dealing with the same 
types of problems in their respective service staffs. When functioning in 

9 McNaughton address cited ahnve fn" 7.1 

10 Organization Chart, H. C. Debates, 21 Jun 48, p. 5828. 



staff capacities they were, of course, responsible individually to their respec- 
tive chiefs of staff. Such an arrangement made for close co-ordination be- 
tween the Canadian Section and National Defense Headquarters. 

In the United States, where the Air components were not independent, 
the War and Navy Departments each furnished a senior non-Air officer. In 
addition, an Air officer of lesser rank was provided from the war planning 
staffs of each of the departments to permit inclusion of Air representation 
without allowing one or the other department a stronger position. (See 
\Table l\ ) As a general rule, the U.S. senior service representatives sat physi- 
cally and organizationally outside the War Department General Staff and the 
staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, although in close proximity thereto. 
The lack of responsibility to these staffs had some advantages, but it necessi- 
tated a continuing liaison effort to insure that staff views were taken fully 
into account. 

The U.S. Section initially outnumbered the Canadian Section by one serv- 
ice member. This situation prevailed for only a few weeks. On 11 Septem- 
ber 1940 Prime Minister King, who had intimated at the time of the original 
announcement of the membership of the Board that an additional Canadian 
member might be named later, sought and received the concurrence of the 
President and Secretary of State Hull in such a step. On 11 October the 
Canadian secretary accordingly advised the U.S. secretary that the Canadian 
Government had appointed Lt. Col. George P. Vanier as an additional mem- 
ber. When the new member took his place on the Board, the members of 
the U.S. Section conjectured that the step had also been taken to permit in- 
clusion of a French-Canadian on the Board. When Vanier, then a brigadier, 
resigned about the end of 1942 to accept a diplomatic post overseas, he was 
not replaced." 

Both secretaries held additional positions in the Departments of State and 
External Affairs during World War II. The U.S. secretary was immediately 
responsible for Canadian affairs in the Department of State, and Keenleyside, 
the first Canadian secretary, was initially a counselor in his department and 
subsequently Assistant Under Secretary of State for External Affairs. 

Appointments of members to the Canadian Section were made by the 

11 Ltr, Cdn Secy to U.S. Secy, 11 Oct 40, PDB 100; Ltr, Christie to Secy State, 14 Oct 40, 
D/S 842.20 Def/35. At about the time of Brigadier Vanier's resignation, however, the Cana- 
dian Army member began to be accompanied by an assistant, who, although not formally des- 
ignated a member, kept the Canadian Section numerically equal to the U.S. Section. Numerical 
equality was formally achieved in 1947 when, as a result of the establishment in Washington 
of a Department of the Air Force, U.S. service representation on the Permanent Joint Board 
on Defense was limited to three officers, one Army, one Navy, and one Air Force. 



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Privy Council through the medium of its orders-in-council. 12 On the U.S. 
side, the Secretaries of State, War, and the Navy submitted recommendations 
for changes involving their personnel to the President, who apparently rou- 
tinely accepted and approved the nominations. 

The office of the U.S. secretary was nominally the office of record for the 
U.S. Section. Actually, since the major part of the Board's work pertained 
to the War Department, the office of the Senior U.S. Army Member 
(SUSAM), who was also the senior U.S. service member, became the reposi- 
tory of the greater volume of records pertaining to the Board. Likewise, the 
U.S. Navy members, located in still a third office, maintained an independent 
set of records pertaining to naval matters. 

Relationships between the members of the two sections were always frank 
and cordial. Although, particularly in the first eighteen months of the 
Board's existence, there were numerous occasions on which divergent views 
were forcefully and forthrightly presented, a spirit of understanding and 
friendliness was always in evidence. On the other hand, the Board in its 
correspondence never reflected the "Dear Henry" informality of which World 
War II officialdom was so fond. The chairmen addressed each other as 
"Dear Mr. Mayor" and "My dear Colonel." The same restrained informality 
marked exchanges between the senior Army members, who saluted each other 
as "My dear General so-and-so." The careful selection of Board members 
on both sides helped considerably in the development of the excellent spirit 
of co-operation and high mutual esteem that prevailed during the Board's 
wartime endeavors. 

The wartime experience indicated, too, that the pattern of membership 
embodying a civilian chairman over a predominantly military membership 
was particularly well adapted to the situation. The properly selected civilian 
chairman was able to consider the military requirements recommended by his 
section and the practical realities of the domestic political and economic situ- 
ation in the other country, and to bring the two into balance where neces- 
sary. In situations where those realities constituted a hurdle, the prospects 
of favorable action on U.S. requirements were the greater because the Cana- 
dian Section was aware that the requirements had been screened and vali- 
dated and were supported by a U.S. chairman fully aware of the significance 
of those realities. 

Modus Operandi 

Meetings of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense were the principal 
medium of carrying out its primary purpose, that of making recommenda- 

12 For example, a letter of 1 1 February 1942 from the U.S. secretary to Mr. LaGuardia re- 
ported receipt of an order-in-council dated 3 February 1942, making a change in the Canadian 
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Members of the Permanent Joint Board Arriving in Newfoundland, 
September 1942. Front row from left: Hon. L. E. Emerson, Mr. J. D. Hickerson, Capt. 
H. DeWolfe, Commodore E. R. Mainguy, Captain Bid-well, Mr. 0. M. Biggar, 
Mr. H. L. Keenleyside (in second row), Brigadier G. P. Vanier, Colonel Jenkins, Group 
Captain R. S. Grandy, Air Commodore F. V. Heakes, Hon. C.J. Burchell, and Mayor 
F. H. LaGuardia. 

tions based on studies of the joint defense needs of the two countries. Joint 
meetings of the two sections of the Board took place at irregular intervals, 
as frequently as the Board considered them necessary to handle its work. 
Thus the Board met monthly in 1940, but only eight times in 1941. (Table 
2)\ United States entry into the war increased the number of meetings in 1942 
to eleven. Thereafter, as the war moved farther from the Western Hemis- 
phere and as fewer hemisphere defense measures were needed, the intervals 
became greater. Seven meetings took place in 1943, five in 1944, and three 
in 1945 up until 1 September. 

Customarily meetings were held alternately in Canada and in the United 
States. Except for the initial meetings in Ottawa and Washington, at which 
there were official entertainment and publicity, Board meetings were not 
publicized. Efforts to avoid publicity were usually successful except when 
meetings were held in locations where the presence of the Board drew atten- 
tion. On such occasions, press reports and speculation resulted from the 
meetings. Especially during its first year, the Board held meetings at the 



sites of proposed defense projects so that the members could study problems 
at close hand. Such meetings were held in Boston, Halifax, San Francisco, 
Victoria, Vancouver, Buffalo, St. John's, and while en route to and from 
Alaska. At these and other meetings of the Board, participation by officials 
concerned in the defense projects gave the Board full opportunity to explore 
all the ramifications of the problems. 13 In the later World War II years, 
the Board usually met alternately in Montreal and New York, the latter lo- 
cation apparently as a matter of convenience to Mayor LaGuardia. The meet- 
ings themselves were held at a military establishment where one was avail- 
able, or in a commercial facility, as for example the Hotel Windsor in 
Montreal and the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. 

Meetings were conducted informally. Ordinarily the Board preceded its 
discussions of new problems by a review of the progress reports (six in all) 
submitted by each of the services of the two countries. These reports re- 
viewed the progress made on previously approved recommendations of the 
Board and on other projects of joint defense interest. The Board would 
then proceed to discuss problems remaining before it for consideration. No 
voting procedure was used, and each problem was discussed until general 
agreement was reached. When disagreements did develop, they were more 
frequently along service lines than along national lines. 14 All formal recom- 
mendations made by the Board were unanimously approved. 15 

Problems came up for discussion in a variety of ways. The Board might 
take up a problem on its own initiative, perhaps as a result of its observation 
of the need for new action or for changes in a previously approved project. 
Alternately, an agency of either government might request one of the Board 
members to present a problem to the Board for its consideration. The re- 
quest might be in the form of a rudimentary idea requiring detailed study, 
or in the form of a complete staff study with a specific course of action rec- 
ommended. One item, the proposed highway to Alaska, had already been 
approved by the President himself and in part by the Department of External 
Affairs before it was considered and acted upon by the Permanenfjoint 
Board on Defense. 

13 On 4 October 1940, Messrs. Emerson and Penson, Commissioners of Justice and Defense, 
and of Finance, respectively, of the Newfoundland Government, took part in discussions in 
Halifax; on 13 November 1940, the Board meeting in San Francisco, heard Lt. Gen. J. L. 
DeWitt and Rear Adm. A. J. Hepburn, the senior U.S. Army and Navy commanders in that 

14 Keenleyside MS. 

15 The Board did not quite achieve the record claimed by General McNaughton in his address 
of 12 April 1948 (cited above, [n. 7 [ of having reached every conclusion unanimously. At its 
10-11 November 1941 meeting, the Board informally agreed "with the exception of the Cana- 
dian Air Force member" that certain measures were needed to hasten construction in Labrador 
of the North West River air base. (Journal, PDB 124.) 


In considering a problem or a recommendation, the Board members in 
theory acted as free agents responsible only to the President and the Prime 
Minister. Board approval of a recommendation gave it no status except as- 
surance that the governments would consider it. As a practical matter, the 
members all realized that adoption of the Board's recommendations was 
usually contingent upon favorable reactions within the Departments of Ex- 
ternal Affairs and National Defense in Ottawa, and the State, War, and Navy 
Departments in Washington. To the extent practicable, the members main- 
tained such liaison as would insure their acting in accordance wirh the views 
of those departments. However, such concurrence of views was not an essen- 
tial condition of Board approval of a recommendation, 16 Likewise, the 
Board members themselves might have doubts about the merits of a particu- 
lar proposal but would recommend in its favor rr for reasons of general 
policy." 17 

The Canadian defense establishment and cabinet system probably lent 
themselves to a more methodical processing or the recommendations of the 
Board than did the U.S. machinery. Before recommendations were con- 
sidered by the government, the views of the Canadian Chiefs of Staff were 
obtained. 1 * 1 Action by the Cabinet War Committee provided for integration 
of the views of all the ministers whose departments were concerned. 

In the U.S. Government no routine procedure or pattern was followed, 
and, especially during the initial months of the Board's existence, the rec- 
ommendations were processed father haphazardly. A number of them were 
apparently not submitted to the President at all. LaGuardia forwarded some 
to the President without reference to the departments con- 
it to the President to determine the views of those depart- 
ments if he saw fit. Later, and more generally, the practice was for the 
members of the Board firsr to get the concurrence of the interested depart- 
ments, after which the recommendation was submitted to the President with 
those concurrences indicated. Approval of a recommendation by both govern- 
ments in effect constituted the necessary directive to the agencies involved. 
Of the thirty-three recommendations adopted by the Permanent Joint 

For example, whereas the Twenty-third Recommendation, which envisaged the use of sur- 
plus Canadian air training capacity for training Americans, was approved by the Board and the 
two governments, the War Department opposed any such arrangement. (Ltr. SW to Secy State, 
B May 42, PDB U9-6.) 

17 The Keenleyside manuscript cites this basis for Canadian approval of the Twenty-fourth 
Recommendation, even though the Canadian Section questioned the strategic value of the pro- 
posed Alaska Highway. Sec also Lingard and Trotter, Canada in World Affairs, III, 67. 

19 Statement in "Canadian -United States Defense Collaboration," transmitted on S April 1948 
by the Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. secretary of the Board, on file in the U.S. secretary's 



Board before V-J Day, twelve dated from 1940, eleven from 1941, four from 
1942, five from 1943, and one from 1944. 19 In addition, on 4 October 1940 
the Board approved a First Report and submitted it to the two governments. 
This report, later approved by both governments, included such portions of 
the first eight recommendations as related to defensive deployments not yet 
made. It included also extensive new recommendations for additional de- 
ployments to be made, facilities to be provided, and operational responsbili- 
ties to be undertaken. 20 

At least within the U.S. Section, procedures for obtaining and recording 
governmental approval of the formal recommendations were apparently rather 
loose during the early part of the Board's existence. 21 The incorporation of 
portions of the first eight recommendations in the First Report tends to con- 
firm that those recommendations had not earlier been acted upon by the 
governments. This omission is probably accounted for at least in part by 
the fact that many of the actions recommended could be executed by the 
services within existing authority and without reference to the governments, 
and that, in instances where action was required by only one country, officials 
in the other country probably considered reference to their government for 
approval unnecessary. 

In any event, almost all of the recommendations made by the Permanent 
Joint Board were approved either tacitly or expressly. 22 The Canadian Gov- 
ernment did not approve the Twenty-ninth Recommendation, whereupon 
the United States, which had actually completed its approving action, with- 
held report of its approval. 23 Canada also did not approve the Thirtieth 
Recommendation as such, but it accepted the proposals in part so that the 
Board was able to agree that the qualified action was a satisfactory response 
to the original proposal. 24 

When most of these recommendations were made, they naturally con- 

19 Texts of the recommendations are reproduced below, lAppendix AJ 

20 Text of First Report is reproduced below, lAppendix rj.l There wer e no furthe r similar 
reports approved by the Board, although a Second Report was drafted. (See lChapter V| below.) 

21 Until a review of the situation was initiated in 1951, files in the Departments of State 
and the Army indicated no record of action by either government on the first eleven and certain 
other recommendations except insofar as parts of the first eight were duplicated in the First 
Report. Careful search of these files and those of the late President Roosevelt and of the U.S. 
Section of the Permanent Joint Board revealed no evidence of submission to the President for 
his approval of the Board's first twenty formal recommendations, except the Sixteenth, which 
required his consideration of a Reconstruction Finance Corporation loan. 

22 Where express approval does not appear in the U.S. files examined, tacit approval is in- 
dicated by the subsequent correspondence concerning the implementation of the recommenda- 
tions and by the progress reports rendered thereafter on each recommendation and appended to 
the journals of the Board me etings. 

23 PDB 105-13. See also [Appendix AJ below. 

24 RCAF Progress Report, at meeting 8-9 Nov 43, PDB 124. See also lAppendix A"l below. 



tained secret or restricted data and received no publicity, as was true of most 
of the Board's work. A partial exception was the Twenty-fourth Recom- 
mendation concerning the highway to Alaska. Not only had there been 
much interest in such a highway over a period of years but also, by its very 
nature, information about this project could not remain restricted. The two 
governments publicized their agreement concerning the construction of the 
highway in an exchange of notes that quoted about two-thirds of the brief 
recommendation. 25 The only real exceptions were the Twenty-eighth and 
Thirty-third Recommendations. 26 Both of these pertained to the terms for 
the disposition of United States property and installations in Canada, about 
which there would inevitably be a great public interest, and there was no 
need for security restrictions. 

The policy of maintaining an official silence as to the work of the Per- 
manent Joint Board received a strong impetus within the first few months 
of its existence. When the First Report of the Board had been approved 
by both governments in November 1940, President Roosevelt proposed that 
the action be announced by simultaneous press statements in the two capi- 
tals. Prime Minister King demurred on the basis that such an announce- 
ment would give rise in Parliament to innumerable questions that he would 
be unable to answer because of their military nature. The President de- 
ferred to this view, and the public remained unaware that such a broad pro- 
gram of joint defense measures had been co-ordinated. 27 

In its five years of life up to the end of hostilities, the Board probably 
established a record for self-restraint in accumulating files. The total file of 
records representing agreed documents of the Board as a whole aggregate 
less than a cubic foot. These records comprise only the Journals of Discus- 
sions and Decisions prepared after each meeting, and, appended to the jour- 
nals, the progress reports rendered to the Board by its members. 

The journals are merely brief summary accounts of the discussions and 
decisions at the meetings. They do not record the various positions taken 
nor the arguments pro and con, but only the principal considerations involved 
and the decisions reached. 28 Initially, the journal was drafted at the end of 
a meeting and circulated and amended thereafter through correspondence. 
To shorten this procedure, the Board began to draft its journals during the 
course of a meeting and to agree on its text in detail before adjournment. 
In a number of instances the substance of the action of meetings lasting many 

" EAS, 246; CTS, 1942, No. 13. See |Chapter VIII| below, for the significance of the omission. 

26 Reproduced in their entirety in EAS, 391, and 444, and in CTS, 1943, No. 2, and 1944, 
No. 35, respectively. 

27 Ltr, Welles to Roosevelt, 25 Nov 40, Roosev elt Papers. Off icial File, Box 4090. 

28 A sample journal extract is reproduced below, |Appendix C. | 



hours over a two-day period was recorded on only two or three double- 
spaced legal-sized sheets of paper. To each journal was appended a series 
of progress reports, usually six in number, for the Army, Navy, and Air Force 
of each country. These were prepared before the meeting and submitted to 
and edited by the Board as a whole. They, too, recorded an agreed under- 
standing of action being taken or scheduled to be taken. 

After each meeting the journal and progress reports were circulated within 
the appropriate agencies of each government. They served the dual purpose 
of providing information and of pointing the way for further planning. In 
addition to those records of the Board as a whole, each national section 
amassed a many times greater volume of intersectional and intracountry cor- 
respondence. Some of this was in execution of the Board's primary function, 
that of study of and recommendation on broad defense problems. Problems 
under consideration might be the subject of correspondence between the sec- 
retaries, or between other pairs of "opposite numbers" who would circulate 
copies of the exchanges to the rest of the members to keep them advised. 

The bulk of such additional correspondence was occasioned by the Board's 
performing a wide range of operating functions, which apparently had not 
been intended by its founders. Nevertheless, the channels available through 
the Board seemed to fill a need and were used extensively for such purposes 
as handling minor administrative matters not brought before the Board and 
following up in detail the execution of approved recommendations. 

The U.S. Section had no authority as an executive or operating agency 
within the executive departments of the U.S. Government. Yet in efforts 
to facilitate joint action the members of this section dealt with agencies of 
the military departments on the operating and administrative level and, in 
some cases, arrogated to themselves authority belonging to those depart- 
ments.' 9 Irregular as these procedures might have been, they were tacitly 
accepted by the War Department and undoubtedly greatly aided the execution 
of actions of joint interest. 

The U.S. Section did not, during World War II, establish any regularized 
working relationship of note with the Joint Board or the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff (JCS), the joint organizations of the U.S. services. A few of the mat- 
ters considered by the Permanent Joint Board were also acted upon by the 
two U.S. joint agencies, but such instances were by far exceptions rather than 

29 An example of such an action is the SUSAM indorsement, dated 23 June 1945, of a basic 
letter to the Commanding Officer, U.S. Army Forces in Central Canada, at Winnipeg. Such 
an action was properly the responsibility of the War Department. Another example is an 
acknowledgment, dated 2 June 1944, from Office, Chief of Engineers, to SUSAM which seated: 
"Your instructions to this office require that the transfer of any improvement be cleared through 
your office." 



the rule. A notable exception before Pearl Harbor was the Joint Canadian- 
United States Basic Defense Plan 2 (ABC-22), on which action followed the 
same pattern as had the earlier action on the related United Kingdom-United 
States plan, ABC-1. The ABC-22 plan was reviewed and approved by the 
Joint Board, by the Secretaries of War and the Navy, and then submitted to 
the President for his approval. In June 1942 the Joint Chiefs of Staff re- 
viewed the U.S. plan for the North Atlantic Ferry Route Crimson bases, 
which became the Twenty-sixth Recommendation of the Permanent Joint 
Board. This review, however, was principally incident to Combined Chiefs 
of Staff examination of the shipping requirements for the plan. 30 

The limited relationship before Pearl Harbor is explained in part by the 
fact that the Joint Board considered only strategic and operational problems 
requiring employment of U.S. military resources. The contemporary recom- 
mendations of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense often required action 
only by Canada or were matters within the purview of the service depart- 
ments. Additionally, the normal procedure of obtaining War and Navy 
Department approval of the recommendations constituted, in effect, all but 
formal approval by the Joint Board. 

By the time the Joint Chiefs of Staff began to function, joint U.S.-Cana- 
dian defense plans had been completed and placed in effect. Similarly, two- 
thirds of the World War II recommendations of the Permanent Joint Board 
had already been made, while the remainder pertained mainly to administra- 
tive or other problems within the purview of the War and Navy Depart- 
ment staffs. Despite the lack of any formal or regularized link between the 
U.S. Section of the Permanent Joint Board and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, no 
serious problem of co-ordination existed. Since the service members of the 
Board also functioned on, or in close liaison with the planning staffs of the 
members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, they were able to assure that their sev- 
eral planning projects were adequately co-ordinated and integrated. 

Scope of Responsibilities 

In establishing the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, Canada-United 
States, President Roosevelt and Prime Minister King stated its mission and 
responsibilities in only the most general terms. The Board was to "consider 
in the broad sense the defense of the north half of the Western Hemisphere" 
and to make "studies relating to sea, land and air problems including personnel 
and material." 

Undoubtedly the Canadian Section received from higher Canadian author- 
ity some guidance as to what it should seek to accomplish, much as President 

1 See below, Chs. IV and 




Roosevelt had oriented the U.S. Section. But the broad charter in the 
Ogdensburg Declaration was never jointly amplified either by the founders 
of the Board or on the initiative of the Board itself. When proposing the 
first meeting of the Board, Canada suggested that initial discussions should 
bear on the defense of Newfoundland and the Pacific coast and on questions 
of reciprocal maneuvers and procurement of materiel. At the second meeting 
of the Board, the Canadian Section made an attempt to clarify the over-all 
terms of reference. The Canadian Section envisaged the scope of responsi- 
bilities of the Board as follows: 

a. Disposition of Canadian forces and U.S. materiel needed in Canada 
and Newfoundland to meet the threat of Axis attack. 

b. Preparations needed in Canada and the United States to meet the 
contingency of U.S. participation in defense against the threat, including 
(l) physical facilities, (2) troop and materiel dispositions, and (3) plans for 
co-ordinated action. 

c. Long-term plans for the permanent security of North America in- 
cluding (1) military defenses, (2) raw materials stockpiles, (3) integration of 
the production effort, (4) continuous revision of plans, and (5) research and 
development co-operation. 51 

The Permanent Joint Board discussed this outline of its major duties but 
did not consider it necessary to adopt it. Nevertheless, the Board recorded 
that it "understood that the Canadian Section would use the outline for its 
own guidance and for submission to the Canadian Government." i: The 
Board's views on the outline were not recorded. Points a and b are reason- 
able statements of urgent joint defense problems that faced the two countries. 
Point c is somewhat puzzling, and unfortunately the journal for the meeting 
records no clarifying discussion. It appears unlikely, in the light of the 
gravity of the Allied situation, that the Canadian Section contemplated that 
any resources could in fact have become surplus to the requirements of the 
war against the Axis and available for long-term planning for post- World 
War II permanent North American security. An alternate possible interpre- 
tation is that the offensive phase of World War II and the defeat of the Axis 
were envisaged as bringing about the permanent security of North America. 
But the word defenses would belie this interpretation. Another alternate per- 
haps envisaged long-term planning for projects to be undertaken only after 
World War II was won. Still another possible thesis, in the light of the 
fall of France and of Dunkerque and of the raging Battle of Britain, is that 

51 Ltr. Cdn Minister to Welles. 20 Aug 40. Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 77; Journal, 
10 Sep 40 meeting, PDB 124. 
i; Journal, PDB 124. 



point c was intended to cover the long-term defense requirements that would 
have to be met if the United Kingdom were occupied. Fortunately, the pass- 
ing months made this contingency more remote, and the Board was able to 
address itself to limited scales of Axis capabilities and to the needs of 
supporting the war overseas. 

The President and Prime Minister gave the Board considerable scope 
geographically. The northern half of the Western Hemisphere to the 
geographer conventionally includes the area between meridians 20° west and 
160° east, north of the equator. This area includes almost all of Greenland, 
parts of Iceland and Siberia, all of North America, and all or parts of Colom- 
bia, Venezuela, Brazil, and other adjacent South American lands. Significant 
variations on the geographer's Western Hemisphere can, however, be found. 
President Monroe in the message to Congress in 1823 that enunciated the 
Monroe Doctrine referred to "this hemisphere" and "the American conti- 
nents," apparently synonymously. The Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance 
drafted by the Inter-American Conference in 1947 delineated an area embrac- 
ing the two continents and Greenland. President Roosevelt, when weighing 
the need for U.S. Navy patrolling and convoying in the Atlantic in July 
1941, delineated for Harry Hopkins a hemisphere that included all of Iceland. 33 

The Permanent Joint Board followed a fairly narrow interpretation of the 
general geographical bounds enunciated at Ogdensburg. Its first approved 
over-all review of the defense problems facing it was the First Report of 
October 1940. 34 This report set forth the preparatory steps and allocation of 
responsibilities recommended to provide for the defense of what might be 
described as northern North America. The area embraced Canada, New- 
foundland and Labrador, Alaska, and coasts of the United States adjacent to 
the Canadian border. Greenland and Iceland were excluded, as were the 
Caribbean islands, Central America, and the United States with the exception 
of the coastal regions mentioned. 

This narrower concept of the geographic scope of the Board's responsi- 
bility was also reflected in the Joint Canadian-United States Basic Defense 
Plan — 1940, which was prepared by the service members of the Board, and 
again in the Joint Canadian-United States Basic Defense Plan 2 (ABC-22), 
prepared in 1941. " This cannot be attributed to the lack of defense tasks 

" TIAS, 1838; Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History (New York: 
Harper & Brothers, 194 8). pp. 308-11. 
" See |Appendix Bj below. 

"The 1940 Plan is in PDB 122. Actually the First Report was based on drafts of the 1940 
Plan prepared in September and discussed by the Board then. Large parts of the text were 
common to both. ABC-22 is reproduced in its entirety in Joint Committee on the Investiga- 
tion of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79th Congress, 1st Session, Hearings on Senate Concurrent 
Resolution 27, Pearl Harbor Attack (hereafter cited as Pearl Harbor Attack) , Pt. 15, pp. 1586-93. 



in the areas not included. The United States-British Commonwealth Joint 
Basic War Plan prepared during January-March 1941 set forth Army, Navy, 
and Air Force tasks in other parts of the "north half of the Western Hemi- 
sphere" and recommended substantial deployments for the execution of those 
tasks/ 6 In fact, the British Commonwealth forces then deployed in those 
areas included a Canadian infantry battalion at Jamaica. 

In effect then, the Permanent Joint Board limited itself to planning the 
measures and the troop and material resources needed to defend northern 
North America. It is probable that an approach of this scope was tacitly 
accepted by both sections of the Board because it best met the needs of the 
situation. The Canadian Section was able to assure itself that Canada and 
Newfoundland would be reasonably well protected. It probably had no par- 
ticular desire to participate in planning concerned with more remote portions 
of the United States and North America. The United States Section was 
able likewise to look after U.S. security interests in Canada without having 
to give the Canadians full access to all the continental and hemisphere de- 
fense plans of the United States, which it probably could not have done 

In August 1940 President Roosevelt had made clear to Prime Minister 
King, and to the U.S. Section of the Board, his desire to obtain a naval base 
and an air base in the Maritimes, yet the U.S. Section seems to have made 
no strong effort to carry out his desire. Some measures in that direction 
were taken, but they fell far short of providing United States bases compara- 
ble to those obtained under the destroyer-bases agreement with the United 
Kingdom. Under the Third Recommendation and the First Report, Canada 
undertook to develop facilities to permit operation of four squadrons of U.S. 
patrol aircraft and a composite wing of some 200 additional aircraft. Simi- 
larly, Canada undertook to complete the steps necessary to provide defended 
harbors and "docking, repair and supply facilities capable of accommodating 
the major portion of the United States or British fleets." Although Canada 
did proceed to develop the necessary facilities, the United States was to utilize 
them only when necessary and agreed, and it acquired no legal status thereat. 
The United States made no use of the air facilities, but it was permitted the 
use of Shelburne and Halifax as naval operating bases and of Sydney as an 
emergency base after July 1941, when the U.S. Navy began active convoying 
between the United States and Iceland. 

The explanation of why the United States did not try to obtain more 
may lie in the fact that the service members of the U.S. Section, reflecting 

,6 The plan is Annex III to ABC-1, which is reproduced in Pearl Harbor Attack. Pt. 15, pp. 


the views of their services, probably had no real desire to obtain bases in the 
Maritimes, which might have required commitment of forces that later would 
have been badly needed elsewhere. In any event, the President on 19 No- 
vember 1940 approved the more modest arrangements provided in the First 
Report. By then, British stamina in the Battle of Britain had indicated that 
the threat to Notth America was not as great as the prospect may 
have appeared in August. Viewed in the light of the subsequent discussions 
in the Permanent Joint Board, it appears to be a reasonable thesis that U.S. 
effort to obtain lease-type bases in Canada might have met strong resistance 
and imposed a considerable strain on the collaborative efforts of the Board. 

Conspicuously absent from the list of defense problems considered by 
the Board were those pertaining to Greenland. The islands of St. Pierre and 
Miquelon also were discussed only briefly in November 1941, just before the 
minor crisis precipitated by Free French occupation of the islands on Christ- 
mas Day, 1941. After this action, the journals were silent concerning any 
discussion rhat may have taken place about the islands. Apparently the sig- 
nificant political problems involved in both cases made them patently prob- 
lems for discussion on the political level. The occupation of Iceland by 
British Commonwealth forces before the establishment of the Board elimi- 
nated the need for consideration of the defense problems of that island. An- 
other notable, but not too surprising, omission was the Great Lakes-St. Law- 
rence seaway project. President Roosevelt's enthusiasm for the project under- 
standably received no endorsement in the Permanent Joint Board, for Canada 
did not consider the diversion of the necessary construction resources justified 
during the war, and the War and Navy Departments had not yet been at- 
tracted by the military advantages of the project. Too, it was unlikely that 
Mr. LaGuardia, mayor ol rhe east coast's largest seaport, would press an 
undertaking that was opposed by powerful railroad, port, and other interests 
in his constituency. 17 

As the war progressed and rhe threat to North America receded farther 
from it shores, the geographic scope of the work of the Permanent Joint 
Board narrowed even further. The journals and progress reports indicate 
that activities in Alaska gradually ceased to be considered. Throughout the 
later war years. Board consideration was generally limited to projects or activi- 
ties of mutual concern or interest in Canada and Newfoundland, 

Another principle that established bounds for the problems of which the 
Board took cognizance was the charge to consider only the defense of the 

P See |Chapter Xj below. In the post- World War II period, the Permanent Joint Board 
and the U.S. War and Defense Departments actively supported the seaway project on the basis 
of its military advantages. 



northern half of the Western Hemisphere. The Board by and large suc- 
ceeded in avoiding projects that did not have some relation to joint defense. 
It is probably this fact that accounts, in part at least, for the absence from 
the Board agenda of, for example, the First Special Service Force and the 
Canadian Army Pacific Force, which were organized to fight in Europe and 
the Pacific, respectively. iH 

On the other hand, several of the Board's recommendations did concern 
themselves with projects whose primary role pertained to the war overseas, 
although in each instance there was usually a secondary or partial role relat- 
ing to joint continental defense. Examples are the Seventeenth and the 
Twenty-sixth, concerning ferrying operations; the Twenty-third, relating to 
the meeting of world-wide pilot training requirements; and the Twenty- 
seventh, which was designed to facilitate the intercountry flow of all war 
materials whether needed for the continental or world-wide war effort. 

This situation became more general as the war receded from North Amer- 
ican shores and a short-term defense requirement virtually ceased to exist. 
Some projects that had been viewed by the Permanent Joint Board as purely 
defensive measures, as for example the Northwest Staging Route, later played 
a new and important role in the support of the general global war effort. 
Toward the end of the war, practically all the joint projects and activities 
that had been sponsored by the Board were in fact supporting the Allied war 
effort cither in Europe or in the Pacific. 

In the area of operating functions the Board's work was necessarily cir- 
cumscribed bv virtue of the existence of service attaches and their staffs in 
both capitals, and the Canadian Joint Staff in Washington. With three 
operating channels between the Canadian services in Ottawa and those of 
the United States in Washington, there was understandably an overlapping 
of effort and confusion as to responsibilities. Several efforts were made to 
clarify these responsibilities and to delineate the types of matters which each 
of the agencies should handle. For instance, an advice to the U.S. Section 
of the Permanent Joint Board, intended to define the areas of responsibility 
of the Canadian air attache and the Air member of the Canadian Joint Staff, 
stated those of the former to include matters concerning U.S. Army Air 
Forces (AAF) organization, Royal Canadian Air Force personnel in the 
United States, visits, and American personnel in the RCAF. ,i; Those of the 
latter included plans and operations, intelligence, communications, and air- 
craft and other equipment. 

,8 See | Chapter DCj , below, for accounts of these organizations. 

w Ltr, Air Member, Canadian Joint Staff, to SUSAM, 12 Oct 42, PDB 100-2. The division 
of duties for the othet services was probably comparable. 



On several occasions the question of the role of the Board in operational 
planning and in the direction of operations under the joint defense plan was 
raised. In one case the head of the War Plans Division of the U.S. General 
Staff indicated his belief that the Permanent Joint Board was exceeding its 
competence in attempting to prepare strategic plans. On another occasion 
the Senior Canadian Army Member pointed out to the Board that its service 
members, and not the Board itself, had prepared plan ABC-22. Further- 
more, the Board had not reviewed the plan, since this review, as well as the 
execution of the plan, was a responsibility of the chiefs of staff of the two 
countries. 4 " In regard to planning responsibility, it is apparent that, after 
the Canadian Joint Staff in Washington was established, the Board had no 
role beyond that of recommending preparation of plans or their revision when 
necessary. Nevertheless, in its first year the Board clearly functioned in the 
planning area — witness its First Report, which in effect constituted, in part, 
a plan for the assignment of operating responsibilities. 41 

Functionally, the principal area in which the Permanent Joint Board 
operated was in connection with construction of Army, air, and naval bases, 
and of the auxiliary road, communication, weather, radar, and similar facili- 
ties required by the United States in Canada and Newfoundland. Collateral 
subjects were the supply of materials and construction equipment, utilization 
of air transport services, the operation of airways for such air traffic, the re- 
sponsibility for the maintenance and operation of the bases and facilities, and 
finally their disposition. 

The most notable problem of this type not considered by the Board was 
the Canol Project. The omission was apparently by design on the part of 
the U.S. secretary, whose initial doubts as to the soundness of the project 
were later shared by the U.S. Senate's Special Committee Investigating the 
National Defense Program. 42 

Collaboration Through the Board 

The important part played by the Permanent Joint Board on Defense in 
U.S. -Canadian military co-operation before and after U.S. entry into World 
War II is indicated by the scope and nature of its formal recommendations. 
By the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, twenty-one such recommendations 

10 Memo/Conv, Brig Gen G. V. Strong and P. Moffat during latter's Washington visit 6-10 
October 1940, Moffat Diary; Note, by M aj Gen M. Pope, CJS, 10 Aug 42, sub: ABC-22 and 
the PJB D. PDB 133-3 . See |Chapter IV| below, for an account of the planning under discussion. 

* 1 See lAppendix Bl below. 

,2 After this committee initiated its searching investigation, the U.S. secretary recalled to 
Mayor LaGuardia that their hands- off position ha d been due to his foresight. (Ltr, 29 Dec 43, 
U.S. Secy's file, PJBD 1943.) See |Chapter VIII[ below. 



had been made that formed the basis for U.S.-Canadian military co-operation 
throughout the war. Seven December 1941 found, as a result of the Board's 
work, the requisite force dispositions already made, construction of the neces- 
sary bases, installations, and facilities under way, and defense plans complete. 
Significantly, the Twenty-first Recommendation, the last approved before the 
Pearl Harbor attack, was concerned with the establishment of arrangements 
for maintaining facilities provided by one government for forces of the other, 
as if to mark the ending of the preliminary phase of the joint relationship. 

The more important subjects of the pre-Pearl Harbor recommendations 
were as follows: 

a. Exchange of information. 

b. Forces and responsibilities for the defense of Newfoundland and the 
Maritime Provinces. 

c. Development of airfields in northwestern Canada for staging pur- 

d. Improvement of communications in the northeastern area, particu- 
larly the Newfoundland railroad and road systems. 

e. Preparation of joint defense plans. 

The entry of the United States into the war occasioned virtually no 
change in the functioning of the machinery already in motion. It was nec- 
essary only for the military chiefs of the two countries to place the previously 
prepared plans in effect. The volume and tempo of the detailed work of the 
two sections of the Board increased, but the number of recommendations and 
new projects diminished. 

No real thought had been given to changes in the status of the Perma- 
nent Joint Board after the United States became a belligerent. Less than 
three months before that event, the Canadian view was expressed "that if the 
United States became a full belligerent the PJBD would go into abeyance, to 
be resurrected at the end of the war." 4; Such a turn of events never mate- 
rialized, and the Board continued to have a vigorous and useful wartime life. 

After Pearl Harbor a few new projects were needed to meet additional 
requirements, and recommendations were made accordingly. By and large, 
however, the pattern of co-operation was well established and the Board's 
principal effort was devoted to overseeing, expediting, and facilitating in 
many detailed ways the execution of projects already in hand. The major 
construction projects occasioned by entry of the United States into the war 
and recommended by the Board were (a) the highway to Alaska, (b) the 
northeast ferry routes across the Atlantic, and (c) the expansion of the air 

45 Memo/Conv, Moffat and Norman Robertson, 25 Sep 41, D/S 842.20/204. 



staging route to Alaska. The Thirtieth Recommendation, approved by the 
Board in April 1943, was the last to propose a new operational or logistical 
project. The remaining three recommendations of the World War II period 
related to the administration and disposition of facilities. 

The Thirty-third and last wartime recommendation (in September 1944) 
set forth the arrangements for the disposition of U.S. facilities and property 
in Canada. Questions regarding termination of U.S. activities had arisen as 
early as 1942 and had occasioned the adoption of the Twenty-eighth Recom- 
mendation in January 1943. The arrangements provided for by the modify- 
ing Thirty-third Recommendation proved adequate to cover the disposition 
problem without further revision. But the execution of the disposition ar- 
rangements proved to be a substantial and administratively complex task 
which fully absorbed the capacities of the U.S. Section of the Permanent 
Joint Board throughout the remainder of the war and for some months 

Even in the spring of 1945, when victory was imminent in Europe and 
only a matter of time in the Pacific, and throughout the balance of 
the World War II period, the Board continued to limit its discussions and 
actions to problems connected with the war. Problems of co-operation for 
postwar defense were not raised in the Board, which apparently felt impelled 
to let the pattern of postwar developments point the way to further collabo- 
ration. The usefulness of the Board had been proven, however, and, when 
the two governments began their discussions of postwar security needs, it 
became apparent that a role for the Permanent Joint Board in meeting those 
needs would be assured. 


Partnership Versus Triangle 

During the months after the establishment of the Permanent Joint Board 
on Defense and the initiation at about the same time of informal staff col- 
laboration with the United Kingdom, the U.S. public continued to remain 
cool to the idea of involvement in the European war. Nevertheless, prepar- 
atory measures for continental security were considered legitimate actions in 
self-defense and had widespread public support. In this setting, the special 
military relationship between Canada and the United States developed har- 
moniously without undue involvement resulting from Canada's membership 
in the British Commonwealth and its participation in the European war. 

The Roosevelt-Churchill Axis 

The initial development of U.S. -British collaboration may have given 
some impetus to Canada's desire to join with the United States in a mutual 
defense scheme. The further development of that collaboration suggested 
the possibility of even greater impact on the U.S. -Canadian relationship and 
was therefore watched with interest from Ottawa. 

The liaison established between the British services in London and the 
visiting U.S. staff group in August 1940 became closer during the ensuing 
months. With utmost secrecy and on an informal basis, the staffs explored 
the actions the United States would have to take if it entered the war. These 
were the first real steps in the direction of combined planning. 

In the meantime, British Ambassador Lothian had presented to Secretary 
of State Hull, on 5 October 1940, a proposal for the conduct of formal mili- 
tary staff talks on the Japanese threat in the Pacific. His proposal, which 
was repeated later in October and again in November after the presidential 
election, and which contemplated multilateral participation, was not found 
acceptable in Washington. Yet it was probably this proposal that inspired 
the broader U.S. -British staff talks that took place in January 1941.' 

1 For a discussion of these proposals and some interesting material on their relationship to 
the elections, see Herbert Feis, The Road to Peart Harbor (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 
1950), pp. 126-27. As a matter of fact, after this rejection the Chief of Naval Operations 
instructed his representatives in London and Manila secretly to explore the problem with the 
British naval staffs in London and Singapore. 



During the autumn months of 1940 the war outlook changed substan- 
tially. British successes in defending against German air attacks in the 
Battle of Britain, together with German failure to attempt the English Chan- 
nel crossing during the most favorable periods, increased the conviction that 
Great Britain would hold. In turn, the threat to North America was seen 
as diminishing. In the War and Navy Departments, emphasis in planning 
began to shift by the end of October from concern over hemisphere defense 
toward the concept of supporting Great Britain. 2 

Immediately after President Roosevelt's re-election in November 1940, 
Admiral Stark, Chief of Naval Operations, recommended that the President 
authorize secret and exhaustive military talks with the British staffs. Gen- 
eral Marshall concurred in the proposal, which the President approved. On 
30 November Admiral Stark issued the invitation to the British Chiefs of 
Staff in his own name. 3 

The staff group sent to represent the British Chiefs of Staff arrived in 
Washington in January 194l. Between 29 January and 29 March, fourteen 
plenary meetings with United States staff representatives took place. As 
stated in the report of the conferees, the conversations had the following 

a. To determine the best methods by which the armed forces of the 
United States and the British Commonwealth, with its allies, could defeat 
Germany and its allies, should the United States be compelled to resort to 

b. To co-ordinate on broad lines the plans for the employment of the 
forces of the associate powers. 

c. To reach agreements as to the methods and nature of military co-op- 
eration, including the allocation of principal areas of responsibility, the major 
lines of military strategy, and the strength of forces that might be committed. 4 

The United Kingdom representatives, on entering upon the talks, presented 
themselves as the "United Kingdom delegation," which was to represent the 
British Chiefs of Staff in their collective capacity as military advisers to the 
War Cabinet of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. Both 
the British Chiefs of Staff and the War Cabinet were parts of the United 

2 For a detailed account of the transition, see Matloff and Snell, Strategic Planning for Coali- 
tion Warfare. 1941-1942, Ch. II. 

5 Morison, The Battle of the Atlantic, pp. 43-44; Feis, The Road to Pearl Harbor, pp. 138-39. 

4 Full text of the report, "United States-British Staff Conversations, Report, 27 Mar 41, Short 
Title ABC-1," is reproduced in Pearl Harbor Attack, Pt. 15, pp. 1485-1541. Accounts of the 
conduct of the staff talks are to be found in testimony recorded in Pearl Harbor Attack, Pt. 3, 
pp. 991ff, 1053ff. More rounded accounts of the conversations are contained in Watson, Chief 
of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations, Ch. XII, and Matloff and Snell, Strategic Planning for 
Coalition Warfare, 1941-1942, Ch. III. 



Kingdom Government and not of any Commonwealth machinery. Con- 
sistently, the British group was referred to in British papers, and in papers 
prepared by the joint secretariat that served the conferees, as the United 
Kingdom delegation. 5 However, the U.S. committee specifically examined 
the question of nomenclature and concluded that it should refer to the United 
Kingdom representatives as the "British delegation." This delegation indi- 
cated in its initial statement that it understood the object of the conversa- 
tions to be the co-ordination of plans for the employment of forces of the 
British Commonwealth, its present allies, and the United States. The rec- 
ords of the conversations do not indicate that the U.S. representatives in any 
way questioned the authority of the United Kingdom group to speak for 
the Commonwealth and its allies. The U.S. committee did consider the 
question of participation of Canadian and Australian officers as observers, 
and agreed that such participation was undesirable, although those officers 
could remain available to the British delegation as technical advisers. 

The conversations thus proceeded with, at best, only indirect representa- 
tion through the United Kingdom delegation for Canada, other Common- 
wealth countries, and other allied belligerents. Despite this fact the British 
and U.S. representatives in their talks and in the war plan prepared during 
the talks made world-wide allocations of strategic responsibilities and of the 
military resources available. The resources of Canada and the rest of the 
Commonwealth were included and simply enumerated as part of the total 
British resources. The war plan did take note of existing U.S. -Canadian de- 
fense planning by acknowledging that the measures needed for the defense 
requirements of contiguous land and coastal areas of the two countries would 
be covered in plans prepared by them. The report of the conversations, 
dated 27 March 1941 and given the short title ABC-1, made provision for 
methods of command and staff representation that proved unsatisfactory to 
Canada. The report had, of course, a considerable bearing not only on the 
form and substance of U.S. -Canadian co-operation but also on the role of 
Canada and on the future conduct of the war. 

As provided for in ABC-1, the British Chiefs of Staff undertook to secure 
the concurrence of the dominion governments to relevant portions of the 
report. They submitted ABC-1 to the Canadian Government for approval 
but apparently had not yet received it at the end of July, four months after 
completion of the report/' Earlier in July the Department of State had been 

5 Minutes of the plenary meetings and other papers prepared during the conversations are 
filed in WPD 4402-89. 

''The 28 July draft of ABC-22 merely states that ABC-1 had been submitted to the Cana- 
dian Government for concurrence. 



notified that "the United Kingdom Government . . . [was] in general agree- 
ment with the report" on the staff conversations except for "certain sub- 
sidiary points— such as some of the proposals made in paragraph 6 of the 
'Joint letter of transmittal,' " on which London had not yet made up its mind. 7 

In Washington, the Secretaries of War and the Navy approved ABC-1, 
but the President merely noted it. Roosevelt's approval, tacit if not express, 
was assumed, and the U.S. services used the plan as the framework for their 
own global strategic planning. 

On 27 May 1941, two months after the conclusion of the staff talks, Presi- 
dent Roosevelt declared an unlimited national emergency. This date may 
be said to mark the transition from the informal liaison in Washington and 
London into a more-or-less formal and continuing combined U.S. -British 
planning arrangement. In accordance with the provisions of ABC-1 but in 
advance of the time specified in it, the United Kingdom had, in early April, 
already established the British Military Mission (later designated the British 
Joint Staff Mission) in Washington. 8 On 17 June the first meeting of the 
U.S. and United Kingdom representatives who were later to become the work- 
ing members of the Combined Chiefs of Staff committee took place in Wash- 
ington. 9 

As the United States intensified planning and preparation for possible 
participation in the war against the Axis and increased collaboration with the 
United Kingdom, its collaboration with Canada receded in relative impor- 
tance. The work of the Permanent Joint Board continued unabated and 
close interservice co-operation expanded. Since the foundations of U.S.- 
British direction of the over-all war effort had been laid, Canada could but 
watch the United States move into ever closer collaboration with the United 

Not long after Pearl Harbor the White House announced that military 
staff meetings with the United Kingdom had been taking place regularly in 
Washington and London. The announcement stated that the machinery for 
joint planning would soon be expanded to include representatives of the 
Soviet Union, China, the Netherlands, and other governments engaged in 

1 Ltr, Ambassador Halifax to Welles, 4 Jul 41, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 74. It 
appears not unlikely that one or more of the dominions may have objected to this paragraph, 
which begins: "The High Command of the United States and United Kingdom . . . ." The 
Canadian Government also indicated its dissatisfaction with the provisions of ABC-1 relating to 
service liaison between Canada and the United Kingdom and United States in matters relating 
to A BC- 1 . (See below | pp. 71-76.| ) 

8 The ABC-1 report provided for an exchange of missions after the United States entered 
the war. 

' Memo, BUS(J)(4l)40, 4 Apr 41, WPD 4402-94; Kittredge Monograph, pp. 445-52; 
Matloff and Snell, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1941-1942, pp. 42-43. 



the war. Secretary of State Hull urged President Roosevelt to establish a 
supreme war council, with major power representation, along the lines of the 
body that functioned in World War I. Hull opposed as an unwieldly ar- 
rangement the suggestion of Lord Halifax, the British Ambassador, that the 
dominion governments would probably have to be given the same status in 
such a council as Great Britain. By early January 1942 the President had 
concluded that a regional basis for co-ordination was best initially, and the 
Hull proposal was dropped.'" 

While a supreme war council was being debated, arrangements were being 
made for Prime Minister Churchill and the British Chiefs of Staff to come 
to Washington. They arrived in Washington for the Arcadia Conference, 
the first of the major U.S. -British politico-military conferences of World War 
II, on 22 December 1941. Concurrently with the meetings of the political 
leaders, the chief staff officers of the two countries met and prepared rec- 
ommendations on military problems for the consideration of Roosevelt and 
Churchill." No Canadian, or other third power, representatives participated 
in the military conferences, although Prime Minister King and political fig- 
ures from other countries participated in the political discussions with Roose- 
velt and Churchill. 

From the Arcadia Conference emerged the Combined Chiefs of Staff 
(CCS) committee as a formally constituted body with an elaborate organiza- 
tion of subordinate planning and technical bodies. The U.S. members of 
the committee were General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff of the Army; 
Admiral Harold R. Stark, Chief of Naval Operations; Lt. Gen. Henry H. 
Arnold, Chief of the Army Air Forces; and Admiral Ernest J. King, Com- 
mander in Chief, U.S. Fleet. 12 Since the British Chiefs of Staff could not 
leave London for any protracted period, the British component of the Com- 
bined Chiefs of Staff normally consisted of senior representatives of the British 
Chiefs of Staff who spoke for and consulted them as necessary. 11 

North Atlantic Triangle 

The culmination of the informal British-U.S. staff collaboration in the 
establishment of the Combined Chiefs of Staff raised for Canada, and for 

'"Department or' State Bulletin, December 20, 1941, V, 541; Hull, Memoirs, II, 1121-24. 

" For an account of the Arcadia staff meetings, see Craven and Cate (eds.), Plans and 
Early Operations, pp. 237-45. 

12 Stark, after attending only a few meetings, left Washington in March and Admiral King 
assumed the duties of Chief of Naval Operations in addition to those of Commander in Chief, 
U.S. Fleet. Admiral William D. Leahy, when he became chief of staff to the President in the 
summer of 1942, joined Marshall, King, and Arnold as a member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of 
Staff and the U.S. -British Combined Chiefs of Staff. 

" For an account of the development of the CCS organization and its functioning, see Ray 
S. Cline, Washington Command Post: The Operations Division. UNITED STATES ARMY IN 
WORLD WAR II (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1951), Ch. VI. 



other governments as well, the question of the adequacy of its representa- 
tion in this new strategic council. 14 Ottawa had already learned that not all 
arrangements worked out between Washington and London, and involving 
Canadian matters, accorded with the Canadian desires. 

Difficulties had first been experienced in the field of materiel procure- 
ment. At the outbreak of war Canada had been obtaining such of the equip- 
ment for its armed forces as was procured from the United States by direct 
purchase from U.S. manufacturers. 15 This procedure gave Canada full free- 
dom of action as to items that were not in short supply. But even before 
the fall of France, the expanding needs of the United States and Great Britain 
were competing for an ever-increasing list of products. British and French 
supply and procurement activities in the United States were being co-ordi- 
nated through the Anglo-French Purchasing Board. Canada joined this 
arrangement, apparently as a means of improving its position in procuring 
competitive items, and on 5 March 1940 notified the Department of State 
that the board, then under the chairmanship of Arthur B. Purvis, a Canadian, 
was "acting for the Canadian War Supply Board in respect of purchases in 
the United States for Canadian defense service." 16 

The fall of France caused the dissolution of the Anglo-French Purchasing 
Board and its replacement by the British Purchasing Commission. 17 It also 
greatly increased both British and American demands on the U.S. output of 
military materiel. Canada was not completely satisfied with the system of 
procuring U.S. materiel either through the board or through the commission 
because the United Kingdom was favored in allocations of the available 
materiel made by the commission, especially after the fall of France. 18 

Moffat had reported the Canadian difficulties to Morgenthau during his 
discussions in Washington on 2-3 July 1940, and had informed Prime Min- 
ister King, on his return to Canada, that henceforth the United States might 
break down the Empire requests by country and act on the requests piece- 
meal. To King, it appeared that such a procedure would make supply to 
Canada easier, since materiel for Canada would contribute more directly to 
the defense of the United States. 19 

14 For a historical survey of the interplay of Canada, the United States, and Great Britain, 
see John B. Brebner, North Atlantic Triangle (Rev. ed.; Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1947). See 
also J. B. Brebner and R. G. Trotter, "Relations of Canada and the United States," Canadian 
Historical Revieu ; XXIV (1943), 117-35. 

" Dawson, Canada in World Affairs: 1959-1941. p. 220. 

16 Cdn Leg Note 82, to Secy State, 5 Mar 40, D/S 841.24/208. 

17 British Emb Note 315, to Secy State, 9 Jul 40, D/S 851.24/187. 

18 Summary of Meeting of U.S. Section, PJBD, 23 Aug 40, PDB 100-4; Morgenthau Diary, 
3 Jul 40, Vol. 279, p. 146. 

19 Memo/Convs, Moffat and Morgenthau, 3 Jul 40, and Moffat and King, 5 Jul 40, Moffat 



Months later, in November 1940, the Canadian Section of the Permanent 
Joint Board on Defense was trying to improve this situation and proposed 
to the Board that Canadian materiel needs be divided into two categories: 
those for North American defense, and those for the European war. Orders 
for materiel in the latter category, the proposal stated, should properly be 
placed through the British Purchasing Commission for allocation from the 
quantities excess to U.S. needs, but materiel requirements for North Ameri- 
can defense, the Canadian Section felt, should be met on the same basis as 
U.S. defense needs and without passing through the British commission. 20 

Another measure apparently designed, at least in part, to improve the 
Canadian position in the procurement of materiel was the establishment in 
January 1941 of a British Supply Council in North America to deal with 
"issues of policy concerning supply, including representations to be made to 
the United States Administration." 21 Mr. C. D. Howe, Canadian Minister 
of Munitions and Supply, became a member of the new council. That 
Canadian efforts in this direction did not adequately fulfill Canadian needs 
is indicated by the fact that the Canadian Section of the Permanent Joint 
Board, which had at the November 1940 meeting reported its lack of success 
in obtaining through the British machinery a number of American flying 
boat patrol aircraft, had to report two months later that Great Britain had 
not yet agreed to this urgent Canadian request. :: 

Insofar as practicable Canada continued to purchase equipment directly 
from U.S. manufacturers. For items in competitive supply, the Canadian 
requests were placed through the British Supply Council and assigned an 
agreed priority. In turn, the British Commonwealth requests were con- 
sidered by the U.S. Joint Army and Navy Munitions Board Priorities Com- 
mittee, which assigned priorities in relation to U.S. requirements. After U.S. 
entry into the war, it became necessary for Canada to place virtually all re- 
quirements before che appropriate new combined agencies that were estab- 
lished in which allocations were made on the basis of world-wide operational 
requirements and priorities.' 3 

The field of materiel procurement was not the only area in which Canada 
had experienced difficulties as a result of arrangements worked out between 
Washington and London. In some instances the United Kingdom and the 

211 Journal, PDB 124. 

21 British Emb Note 22, to Secy State, 14 Jan 41, D/S 841.24/425. The new council had 
been proposed some weeks earlier and had been discussed in the interim. 

22 Journals, November 1940 and January 1941 meetings, PDB 124. 

- M Dawson, Canada in World Affairs: 19_i9—1941 . p. 220; Canada, Department of National 
Defense, Report for the Year Ending March M. 1942 (Ottawa: E. Cloutier, King's Printer), p. 



United States took actions in which the Canadian Government felt that it 
had been inadequately advised or consulted. One such instance was the con- 
clusion, in March 1941, of the leased-bases agreement between the United 
Kingdom and the United States. During the later stages of the negotiations 
leading to the signing of the preceding destroyer-bases agreement of 2 Sep- 
tember 1940, Prime Minister King had been consulted by both Roosevelt 
and Churchill, and had approved the arrangements embodied in the pre- 
liminary agreement. 24 Although King had apparently expected to be a prin- 
cipal in the negotiation of the detailed agreement relating to the bases in 
Newfoundland, the negotiations were virtually completed before Canada was 
invited to participate and, even then, only in the role of observer at the con- 
clusion of the leased-bases agreement, which was signed on 27 March 1941. 
At Canadian instance the three countries simultaneously signed a protocol 
clarifying the Canadian interest in the defense of Newfoundland. 25 Prime 
Minister King felt so strongly about this case of bilateral U.S.-United King- 
dom negotiation of a matter of direct concern to Canada that he complained 
to both the President and the Secretary of State. 26 

A similar situation was to develop within a few months. In August 1941 
the first wartime meeting of Roosevelt and Churchill took place aboard ship 
off Argentia, Newfoundland. Roosevelt, in planning his secret voyage to the 
rendezvous, considered a route through Ottawa to Quebec, where he would 
embark on a cruiser. He rejected this route on the ground that it would be 
difficult either to explain his failure to take Mr. King along, or to take Mr. 
King, in the absence of the leaders of other interested states, to what became 
known as the Atlantic Conference. The conferees did discuss questions of 
over-all policy, such as the Atlantic Charter and the situation in the Pacific. 
Important decisions concerning the Canadian war role were also taken, yet 
no Canadian official participated in the discussions." 

The establishment of the Combined Chiefs of Staff and other combined 
United Kingdom-U.S. agencies subsequent to formal U.S. entry into the war 

24 Se el Ch. 1 1 a bove; Journal, 27 Aug 40 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 

" See |Ch. fV] below; Dawson, Canada in World Affairs: 1939-1941, pp. 213-17; D/S Telg 
973, to London, 22 Mar 41, PDB 107-9; Trotter and Corey (eds.), Conference on Canadian- 
American Affairs, 1941, p. 49. 

26 Memo/Conv. Hull and King, 17 Apr 41, D/S 711.42/214; Memo/Conv, Robertson and 
Moffat, 12 May 41, Moffat Diary. 

27 "Memorandum of Trip to Meet Winston Churchill, August 1941," 23 Aug 41 , prepared 
by President Roosevelt, Roosevelt Papers, Atlantic Charter meeting file. See |Ch. V| below. 

According to Dawson, Canada in World Affairs: 1939-1941, p. 209, the Argentia meeting 
was a decided shock to King, who forthwith journeyed to London for several weeks of con- 
sultations. The meeting may have been a shock, but it is clear from correspondence in the 
Roosevelt papers that King had planned his trip to London before he was aware of the Roose- 
velt-Churchill meeting. 



brought new occasions for Canadian dissatisfaction. In addition to creating 
the Combined Chiefs of Staff committee, Roosevelt and Churchill announced, 
on 26 January 1942, the establishment of the Munitions Assignments Board, 
the Combined Shipping Adjustment Board, and the Combined Raw Mate- 
rials Board. The bilateral membership of these agencies accorded with the 
Churchillian concept that the "most sure way to lose a war" was to put every 
power contributing forces "on all the councils and organizations which have 
to be set up and [to require] that everybody is consulted before anything is 
done." 28 

President Roosevelt, while agreeing to the creation of the British-U.S. 
agencies, recognized the need for dominion and Dutch participation in the 
over-all conduct of the war, particularly in respect to the Southwest Pacific, 
where dominion and Dutch forces were engaged. Accordingly, the Com- 
bined Chiefs of Staff considered outline proposals formulated by the Presi- 
dent and accepted the recommendations thereon of the British members. 
These proposals provided that political questions should be discussed in 
London, since the principal political representation of the countries con- 
cerned was centered there, and that strategic questions should be considered 
in Washington by the Combined Chiefs of Staff, who would hold the Brit- 
ish Joint Staff Mission responsible for evolving a co-ordinated British Com- 
monwealth point of view. Although staff representatives of the participating 
countries could maintain normal contacts with the U.S. staffs and attend 
Combined Chiefs of Staff discussions on matters of concern to them, the 
responsibility for making final recommendations to the British and U.S. Gov- 
ernments was to remain with the Combined Chiefs of Staff since they had to 
considered "the strategy of the war as a whole, the interests of their two 
Nations being world-wide." 29 

The British-U.S. organizational arrangements growing out of the Arcadia 
Conference left the Canadian Government feeling that the Canadian position 
relative to the war direction boards was confused and unsatisfactory and that 
Canada had been pushed aside, even in fields where it had a direct interest. 
As a result, a Department of External Affairs officer, Lester B. Pearson, was 
sent to Washington on 19 February to clear up a situation that had appar- 
ently developed not only because of the natural desire to keep the directing 
bodies as small as possible, but also because of Churchill's "personal predilec- 
tion for speaking in the name of the entire Empire and trying to reverse the 
process of recent years and integrate it more closely." Canadians felt that 

J " Great Britain, Parliamentary Debates. Vol. 377, cols. 610, 616. 

2 ' ; CCS 21/1, 3 Feb 42. The CCS recommendations received governmental approval on 10 
February 1942. 



Churchill had been ably abetted in this effort by the U.S. services, "whose 
attitude throughout had been that Canada was a nuisance and had much bet- 
ter be treated as a part of Britain," rather than as an independent country, 
which was in fact the true status of Canada and the other dominions. 30 

In March Prime Minister King himself came to the United States to dis- 
cuss Canadian exclusion from the war direction agencies. Although by this 
time the Canadian Government had accepted its exclusion from the Com- 
bined Chiefs of Staff, it still sought representation in the raw materials and 
munitions assignments agencies. Arrangements were worked out to keep 
Canadian representatives better informed so that, upon the occasion of King's 
next visit to Washington in April 1942, he was satisfied to press only for 
membership on the Munitions Assignments Board. 31 

Nevertheless, the question of Canadian participation in the direction of 
the war continued to be a vexatious one for Prime Minister King. Self- 
interest demanded that he vigorously protest cavalier treatment by either 
Great Britain or the United States and seek a strong Canadian voice in the 
war councils. Before the United States entered the war it had been his view 
that Canada had a special role to play in the promotion of British- American 
friendship and harmony of sentiment. One of the reasons he had given for 
his unwillingness to sit in an Imperial War Cabinet in London was his belief 
that his availability for personal contact with President Roosevelt "in critical 
situations affecting the relations between the United States and British Com- 
monwealth" might easily be more important than any service he could render 
in London. 32 

Canadians as a whole had taken pride in the Canadian role as connecting 
link, or hinge, between the two major English-speaking countries. Some of 
the developments that had taken place might understandably have made 
Canadians wonder whether at times the role had not more nearly resembled 
that of a nut between the two jaws of a nutcracker. Nevertheless, King fol- 
lowed a policy of taking such positions in regard to Canadian representation 
as "would best serve to bring about co-operation among all the governments 
concerned." He accepted the "arrangement under which the war . . . [was] 
being carried on, on behalf of the United Nations and which . . . [recognized] 
at the head as the combined command, the Prime Minister of Great Britain 
and the President of the United States." Where Canadian interests were likely 
to be prejudiced, he was prepared to, and did, make strong protests to get 

>0 Memo/Conv, Robertson and Moffat, 19 Feb 42, D/S 711.42/237. 

" Memo/Conv, Welles and Moffat, 3 Mar 42; Notes on conversation between Welles and 
Moffat during latter's Washington visit 4-11 April 1942; both in Moffat Diary. 
W H. C. Debates, 12 Nov 40, pp. 58-59, and 17 Feb 41, p. 813. 



representation. Otherwise, he recognized that the problem of representa- 
tion by the many nations was only one of the difficulties facing Roosevelt 
and Churchill and endeavored not to add to an already complex situation. 35 

Arrangements for the strategic direction of the war followed the basic 
concept established in the ABC-1 report. A U.S. -British high command 
provided over-all direction, while the earth's surface was divided, with one 
exception, into three areas of responsibility — the first British, the second 
American, in which each government provided strategic direction through a 
senior national commander, and the third comprising the land areas in which 
joint U.S. -British offensive operations would later be launched under jointly 
agreed unity of command arrangements. The single exception provided that 
Canada could assume responsibility for the strategic direction of forces in 
such waters and territories of the Atlantic Ocean areas as might be denned 
by joint U.S. -Canadian agreements. The joint U.S. -Canadian defense plan, 
ABC-22, prepared in correlation with the ABC-1 plan, did provide for such 
assignments of responsibility to Canada. The net effect was that Canada 
alone of all the other powers was singled out for such an assignment 
of strategic responsibility. 34 

Insofar as the rest of the war areas were concerned, Canada and other 
powers participated in the deliberations of the Combined Chiefs of Staff only 
when the problems under consideration related to them. This participation 
comprised in part informal and continuous liaison between Canadian service 
representatives in Washington and members of the Combined Chiefs of Staff 
committee and its working subcommittees. Alternately, these representatives 
were invited to participate in the formal sessions of the Combined Chiefs of 
Staff. Canadian participation at formal meetings took place on several 
occasions. 35 

In time, Canada achieved membership on three of the subcommittees of 
the Combined Chiefs of Staff committee. By the spring of 1944, the United 
Kingdom half of the Combined Communications Board and the Combined 
Meteorological Committee had been expanded on a Commonwealth basis to 
include Canadian and other dominion representatives. In September 1944 

35 H. C. Debates, 27 Jan 42, pp. 58-59, 25 Mar 42, pp. 1632-33, and 21 Apr 42, p. 1791. 

In addressing the President on 16 June 1944 on the relationship of the Canadian Govern- 
ment and armed forces to the CCS, Prime Minister King again stated that Canada had "recog- 
nized that the higher direction of the war should be exercised by the Combined Chiefs of Staff, 
under Mr. Churchill and the President," but he also pointed out that the Canadian Govern- 
ment had never "been requested to recognize the Combined Chiefs of Staff as the source of 
authority of the S upreme Allied Commanders." (JCS 808/1, 19 Jun 44.) 

54 See |Ch. IV| below. 

' 5 Representatives of third powers participated in approximately 25 of the 200 CCS meetings 
that had been held by 14 July 1945. 



independent Canadian representation on the Combined Civil Affairs Commit- 
tee was approved, thus making this committee tripartite in nature. 36 

Two of the eight wartime politico-military conferences took place in 
Canada— Quadrant (First Quebec Conference) in August 1943, and Octa- 
gon (Second Quebec Conference) in September 1944. At each of these con- 
ferences three general categories of meetings took place— those of the 
Combined Chiefs of Staff, those of the Combined Chiefs of Staff with Presi- 
dent Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, and the political meetings 
between Roosevelt and Churchill and, when invited, the representatives of 
other powers. Only the British and U.S. staffs participated in the first two 
categories of meetings, although informal and formal meetings and discus- 
sions did take place between the Canadian Chiefs of Staff, on the one hand, 
and the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff or the British Chiefs of Staff, on the other. 
The Canadian Chiefs of Staff visited Washington in May 1943 concurrently 
with the Trident Conference and discussed mutual problems in a similar 
manner. Mr. King participated in Roosevelt-Churchill discussions at 
Trident, Quadrant, and Octagon and also met with the President and 
British Prime Minister separately. Thus, although no formal Canadian par- 
ticipation took place at the Combined Chiefs of Staff meetings, there was 
frequent opportunity to discuss and concert policies and measures of mutual 
interest. 57 

The three members of the North Atlantic triangle also participated in 
other bodies established to provide co-ordinated direction to the war effort. 
Pursuant to the Arcadia discussions, Mr. Churchill had, on 27 January 1942, 
announced the proposed establishment of a Pacific War Council on the min- 
isterial level in London to provide co-ordinated political guidance on the 
Pacific war to the Combined Chiefs of Staff. It held its first meeting on 10 
February, with Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, and 

}6 CCAC 143, 29 Sep 44, and 143/1, 16 Oct 44. 

37 Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War: Closing the Ring (Boston: Houghton 
Mifflin Company, 1951), p. 66; William D. Leahy, / Was There (New York: Whittlesey 
House, 1950), p. 174; Tucker, The Naval Service of Canada. II, 442-44, 466; CCS Conference 
Books, passim; "The Log of the President's Visit to Canada: 16 August-26 August 1943," 
Roosevelt Papers, H. Hopkins file, Box 24; R. K. Carnegie, "The Quebec Conference," Cana- 
dian Geographical Journal, XXVII (September 1943), 96-105; Wilson Brown, "The Allies at 
Quebec," Queens Quarterly, LVI (Winter 1949-1950), 465-78; Lingard and Trotter, Canada in 
World Affairs, III, 131n, 238, 257-58; Canada at War, No. 25 (Jun 43), p. 17, and No. 41 
(Oct 44), p. 11; Samuel Rosenman (compiler), The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin 
D. Roosevelt, XII, 194} Volume: The Tide Turns (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1950), 363- 
64. For a general account of the international conferences, see Cline, Washington Command Post: 
The Operations Division, Ch. XII. The othjsr international conferences were Arcadia (Wash- 
ington, December 1941-January 1942), in which Mr. King participated, Symbol (also called 
Anfa, Casablanca, January 1943), Sextant-Eureka (Cairo-Tehran November-December 1943), 
Argonaut (Malta-Yalta, January-February 1945), and Terminal (Potsdam, July 1945). 



Quebec Conference, August 1943. Seated are the President of the United States, 
Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the Governor General of Canada, the Earl of Athlone. 
Standing are Prime Minister Mackenzie King of Canada and Prime Minister Winston 
Churchill of Great Britain. 

India participating. 38 Subsequently Canada requested, and was granted, rep- 
resentation on the London council. On 30 March President Roosevelt an- 
nounced establishment of a Washington body with the same name and simi- 
lar functions and composition. This body, which met first on 1 April 1942 
and included representatives of the United States, United Kingdom, Aus- 
tralia, Canada, China, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the Philip- 
pine Commonwealth, met frequently during 1942 and 1943. The London 
council, with somewhat narrower representation, continued to meet, but less 
frequently. Both bodies furnished a formal forum, on the ministerial level, 

,s Great Britain, Parliamentary Debates. Vol. 377, col. 611; H. C. Debates. 10 Feb 42, p. 598. 



in which the smaller countries could express their views and recommenda- 

tions. ,t; 

A parallel staff agency, the Military Representatives of the Associated 
Pacific Powers, was also established at Washington in the spring of 1942 and 
included, in addition to the Washington members of the Combined Chiefs 
of Staff committee, representatives of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the 
Netherlands, and China. This body met about once a month. In January 
1943 French and Polish representatives were admitted, and in April the word 
"Pacific" was dropped from the title. Apparently by common consent, meet- 
ings of this group, which heard reports and exchanged views on a wide range 
of military problems, were not held after June 1943. 40 

Thus Canada, after some initial concern as to its role vis-a-vis the United 
Kingdom-U.S. machinery for the broad policy and strategic direction of the 
war, succeeded in developing satisfactory relationships which seemed ade- 
quate to its needs. In due course Canada also participated to varying degrees 
in other Anglo-American combined bodies. 41 

Canadian dissatisfaction over participation in the Anglo-American com- 
bined organizations was by no means the only occasion for resentment di- 
rected at the United States. Numerous incidents occurred on the point of 
the relationship of Canada to the British Empire that led Canadians to con- 
clude that Americans still considered Canada a nonautonomous part of the 
Commonwealth. President Roosevelt had in September 1939 set a precedent 
in this regard that he himself failed to follow on several occasions. The 
United Kingdom had declared a state of war with Germany on 3 September. 
The Neutrality Act of 1937 required issuance of a U.S. neutrality proclama- 
tion involving an embargo on arms deliveries to belligerent states. Asso- 
ciates of the Secretary of State argued that, since the United Kingdom was 
at war, the dominions were also, unless they formally seceded from their as- 
sociation under a common sovereign. Hull recommended a contrary view 
to the President, who immediately telephoned Prime Minister King for his 
opinion. King stated that he did not regard Canada as being at war. Ac- 
cordingly, Canada was not included in the U.S. neutrality proclamation of 5 

w Ltr, L. McCarthy to Welles, 28 Mar 42, D/S 740.001 PW/2190-4/5; Department of State 
Bulletin, January 16, 1943, VIII, 186; H. C. Debates, 21 Apr 42, p. 1791; Sherwood, Roosevelt 
and Hopkins, pp. 509-10; Canada at War, No. 25 (Jun 43), p. 17; Lingard and Trotter, 
Canada in World Affairs, III, pp. 135-37; Canada, Annual Report of the Secretary of State for 
External Affairs, 1943 Ottawa: E. Cloutier, King's Printer, 1944), p. 11. 

40 Papers relating to these meetings are filed in ABC 334.8 M.R.P. (5-26-42). The ninth 
and last meeting was held on 18 June 1943. 

11 See below, |pp. 77-85.| 



September but in a separate proclamation issued on 10 September, the day of 
the Canadian declaration of war. 42 

Yet in drafting a proposed list of signatories to the Atlantic Charter in 
August 1941, the President initially grouped the dominions in a listing under 
the United Kingdom, although he later revised the list to place all the coun- 
tries in alphabetical order. In January 1942 the State Department not only 
proposed a listing of signatories for the Joint Declaration by the United Na- 
tions in which Canada appeared as one of a British Empire group of nations, 
but it also compounded this maladroitness by presenting the document to 
Canada through the British Embassy, thereby occasioning a formal Canadian 
objection. 4 ; Incidents such as these led some Canadians to conclude that 
both service and civilian elements of the U.S. Government believed Canada 
to be a nuisance, much better treated as a part of Great Britain. 44 

The Stresses of Partnership 

Not all the difficulties that arose in U.S.-Canadian politico-military deal- 
ings during World War II can be ascribed to the North Atlantic triangle 
relationship or to Canada's position in the British Commonwealth. Natu- 
rally, in the course of years of close collaboration subsequent to the Ogdens- 
burg meeting, many disagreements developed. Although it was not always 
possible to reconcile divergent fundamental points of view, representatives 
of the two countries always succeeded in amicably working out solutions 
which, if not the solution preferred by both sides, at least met the essential 
requirements of the situation. Despite the number of disagreements, large 
and small, disagreement was far from the norm for U.S.-Canadian wartime 

42 Hull, Memoirs. I, 678-79; Dawson, Canada in World Affairs: 1939-1941. p. 6. The 
proclamations are 2349 (4 FR 3819), and 2359 and 2360 (4 FR 3857). Similarly, in telling 
King at Ogdensburg of his reasons for wanting a defense board, the President acknowledged 
the need for negotiating for bases in Canada with Ottawa, since Canada was an autonomous 
dominion, rather than with London, where the trade of destroyers for leased bases in British 
territories was being worked out. 

43 Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 452; Memo/Conv, Wrong and Berle, 31 Dec 41 and 
1 Jan 42, D/S 740.001 EW1939/18384 and /18454. 

44 Memo/Conv, Moffat and Under Secy State for External Affairs, 19 Feb 42, D/S 
711.42/237; Memo, for Secy State, 20 May 43, D/S 711.42/255. 

It is interesting to speculate on the extent to which this attitude on the part of U.S. offi- 
cials was a reflection of the Department of State organization for handling British and Canadian 
affairs. The Canadian-desk officer throughout the World War II period sat in the Division of 
British Commonwealth Affairs, which in turn was a part of the Office of European Affairs. In 
addition to providing a governmental pattern for considering Canada within a British frame- 
work, this organization had the effect of placing Canadian problems for review and considera- 
tion before one officer whose responsibility was for the British Commonwealth as a whole, and 
before another whose responsibility was for European affairs. State Department officers queried 
on the point expressed divergent views to the author as to whether this organizational arrange- 
ment did in fact influence the handling of Canadian problems in the State Department. 



co-operation. The many great joint wartime achievements deny any such 
conclusion. The areas of harmonious co-operation far overshadowed those 
in which disagreements needed to be worked out. Nevertheless, the record 
of these disagreements is a necessary and useful one, for their existence and 
causes should be noted and should serve as guideposts in the future. 

Often the difficulties were the result of the manner in which the United 
States consulted and negotiated with Canada. On one occasion a communi- 
cation to the RCAF member of the Permanent Joint Board in August 1941 
tactlessly advised him that, as a result of discussions between the President, 
Maj. Gen. Henry H. Arnold, and Lord Beaverbrook concerning Atlantic air- 
craft ferrying, General Arnold desired Canadian authorization for the United 
States to establish three weather and emergency stations in Canada, and that 
it was "mandatory that definite decision be received promptly" as delay 
might defeat the entire project. This message reached a Cabinet War Com- 
mittee meeting, where it was read and provoked a strong reaction not only 
to the use of the term "mandatory" (with the flavor of a British-U.S. ukase) 
but also to the use of military, rather than diplomatic, channels for presen- 
tation of the request. Canada promptly approved the request, but the inci- 
dent was not as promptly forgotten. 45 

Similar lapses occurred on the part of the State Department. To cite an 
important instance, the United States had, throughout most of 1941, actively 
discussed with the other Pacific powers questions relating to the possibility 
of war with Japan. During the summer some consultation with Canada 
took place, although it was necessary for Canada not only to request that it 
be kept advised but also that this be done directly and not through the 
British Government. As the situation regarding Japan became critical, the 
United States after September 1941 carried on extensive political discussions 
with Japan in an effort to achieve a modus vivendi. During the talks the 
United States considered itself a trustee for the other governments concerned. 
On occasion during November, as the situation approached a crisis, the dip- 
lomatic representatives of the United Kingdom, China, the Netherlands, and 
Australia were consulted on the negotiations. 46 Despite the clear Canadian 
interest in the political and security problems of the Pacific, Canada was not 
consulted. Mr. King expressed concern and regret on this score, and, al- 

45 Memo, Lt Col C. Bissell for Brig Letson, 20 Aug 41, WPD 4262-7; U.S. Leg Ott Desp 
1867, to Secy State, 22 Aug 41, D/S 811.9243/27; Memo for Record, by Moffat, 22 Aug 41, 
Moffat Diary. 

46 U.S. Leg Ott Telg 200, to Secy State, 5 Aug 41, D/S 840.51 Frozen Credits/2882; Telg 
203, 6 Aug 41, D/S 701.4294/21; Memo/Conv, Moffat and Robertson, 29 Sep 41, D/S 
742.94/13. For accounts of these negotiations and consultations, see Feis, The Road to Pearl 
Harbor, passim, and Hull, Memoirs, II, 1073, 1076. 



though Pearl Harbor soon made the question academic, for many weeks "the 
failure to include Canada among the powers invited to discuss the Pacific 
problems in late November continued, despite all explanations, to rankle." 4 " 

Many of the difficulties that arose after Pearl Harbor were the result of 
fundamental differences in the approaches of the two countries to mutual 
problems. Americans would attack each problem vigorously and impatiently, 
and in terms of the short-term military need, with only secondary considera- 
tion to long-term aspects or to the concurrent impact on other conditions in 
Canada. Canada, usually the grantor in all the requests presented, was inter- 
ested, too, in "getting the job done," but it was also prone to give more 
consideration to the broader implications of the U.S. requests. 

The initial U.S. request after Pearl Harbor evoked a response that exem- 
plified this difference in approach. On receiving a U.S. request, transmitted 
to Ottawa by the State Department on 8 December, the Cabinet War Com- 
mittee on the next day considered authorizing the United States to establish 
a radio direction finding installation in British Columbia involving some fifty 
personnel. The authorization was granted with several conditions relating 
to the relationship between the detachment and Canadian commanders and 
financial and procurement provisions that had been recommended by the Ca- 
nadian Section of the Permanent Joint Board. One of these called for a 
commitment to leave the radar set in Canada if the U.S. requirement for an 
installation at that site ceased to exist. State Department officers reacted 
strongly to these conditions and declared them unacceptable, forecasting major 
reactions if such conditions were indicative of the Canadian idea of a basis 
for wartime co-operation. Needless to say, the problem was satisfactorily 
resolved, as were many others that followed it. As the fundamental points 
of view on each side became better understood and approached a common 
denominator, the handling of similar requests became routine and per- 
functory . 4S 

Canadian Staff Representation in Washington 

Until the start of World War II, neither Canada nor the United States 
maintained service attache representation in the other country. On Cana- 
dian initiative in February 1940, Air Commodore W. R. Kenny was assigned 

17 Memo/Conv, Wrong and Welles, 25 Nov 41. D/S 711.94/2559; Moffat, Notes on Wash- 
ington Visit, 1-4 December 1941, Moffat Diary. The explanations offered were the great rapid- 
ity of the November events, the lack of interest shown by the Canadian Legation in Pacific 
problems, and Hull's assumption that King was being kept advised by the President during 
their "constant and close contact.'' During this period Canada considered itself sufficiently 
concerned with the Pacific situation to send two infantry battalions to reinforce the British gar- 
rison at Hong Kong. They arrived just before Pearl Harbor and shared the defeat of that 
garrison by Japanese forces. (Stacey, The Canadian Army. 1939-1945. pp. 273-88.) 

J8 Memo-for Record, Moffat, 10 Dec 41, Moffat Diary. 



to Washington as the first Canadian air attache there, and was followed in 
August and September by Commodore V. G. Brodeur and Col. H. F. G. 
Letson, as naval and military attaches, respectively. 49 The War Department 
sent its first attache, an Air officer who served as both military and air attache, 
to Ottawa in April 1940, while the Navy Department first assigned a naval 
attache there in August 1940. This nominal and routine attache liaison was 
supplemented, after the Ogdensburg Declaration, by liaison through the 
Permanent Joint Board on Defense. 

Two types of liaison between the United States and the dominions were 
provided for in the ABC-1 report of March 1941: Canada, Australia, and 
New Zealand were to be represented by their service attaches on the British 
military mission to be established in Washington, and the United States 
might exchange liaison officers with the dominions for direct co-operation. ,0 
These arrangements were not, from the Canadian point of view, enough. 
Canadian desire for liaison through a mission similar to the British mission, 
which was established during April 1941, were apparently first indicated in 
a Canadian working-level draft of an operational plan at the time of the joint 
drafting of defense plans." The operational plan provided for an exchange 
of military missions between Ottawa and Washington at the time that it was 
put into effect. In March, at least on the service working levels, the War 
Department had seemed willing to accede to the Canadian desire, but Cana- 
dian efforts to establish a staff mission in Washington were to travel a rocky 
road for many months." 

The Canadian Government on 1 July 1941, after consulting with the 
United Kingdom, formally requested U.S. approval of the establishment of 
a military mission in Washington and stated that it felt "very strongly" that 
the recommendations concerning Canadian representation in Washington 
made in the ABC-1 report were inadequate. "Problems of joint action in 
the western Atlantic and possibly in the eastern Pacific," could, in the Cana- 
dian view, "best be handled by the establishment of a separate organization 
rather than by any method of Canadian representation on the United King- 
dom Mission." Pending approval of the Canadian mission, the Canadian 
Government asked that its service attaches be allowed to attend joint meet- 
ings of the British Joint Staff Mission and the U.S. service departments. At 

'''Canada. Annual Report of the Secretary of State for External Affairs, 1940. p. 10. 
™ Pearl Harbor Attack. Pt. 15, p. 1500; BUS(J) (41)24, WPD 4402-94. 
''Draft, Joint Operational Plan 1, United States Army-Canada Army and Air Force, 14 Apr 
41, PDB 133. 

" A U.S. Army draft of a joint Canada-U.S. Army defense plan, transmitted to SUSAM on 
20 March 1941, provided for liaison between the War Department and Canadian War Office 
and Air Ministry through the exchange of missions between Washington and Ottawa. (PDB 



such meetings, it was to be understood that "the Canadian Service Attaches 
. . . [were] acting in their capacity as such, and not as members of the 
British Mission." ,; 

Both the War and Navy Departments in July opposed a Canadian mis- 
sion on the grounds that representation through the Permanent Joint Board 
on Defense and the British Joint Staff Mission met all the Canadian needs 
for liaison, and that an undesirable precedent would be established for simi- 
lar requests by other dominions and the American republics.'' 4 The Depart- 
ment of State replied to the Canadian aide-memoire on 25 July, taking the 
position that, although as a matter of general policy a mission would be wel- 
come, the matter was primarily a military one and the case made by the serv- 
ice departments seemed convincing.^ 

During the period that the United States was considering the formal 
Canadian request, the service members of the Permanent Joint Board were 
completing the drafting of the 1941 Canadian-U.S. defense plan (ABC-22). 
The final draft, dated 28 July 1941, provided for the establishment, when 
the plan became effective, of officers of each country as representatives of 
their chiefs of staff vis-a-vis their opposite numbers in the other country. 
Thus the joint drafters were able to go somewhat further than the provisions 
of ABC-1 in meeting the Canadian desires but were unable at this time to 
repeat the War Department's willingness' to agree to an exchange of mis- 
sions, even if their establishment were to await the time when the plan would 
be put into effect. 

Soon afterward, on 18 August 1941, Prime Minister King informed U.S. 
Minister Moffat that the prolonged refusal of Washington to approve a mili- 
tary mission was the only aspect of U.S.-Canadian relationships that seriously 
troubled him. King felt not only that Canadian contacts with the War and 
Navy Departments were being funneled through British channels, but also 
that the British were consciously sidetracking the Canadians. He accordingly 
urged that the proposal be reconsidered in the light of its political implica- 
tions and of the greater confidence that would be engendered in the Cana- 
dian public mind by direct military representation at Washington.'' 6 

While the War and Navy Departments re-examined the request, Moffat 
discussed with Department of State officers the true significance of the con- 
tinued Canadian pressure for a military mission. The decision to continue 
the pressure had been taken at the highest political levels, and was a mani- 
festation of dissatisfaction with the way the Canada-United States-United 

" Cdn Leg aide-memoire. 1 Jul 41, WPD 4543. 

" Ltr. Secy Navy to Secy State, 21 Jul 41, PDB 111-6. 

" Memo/Conv, Hickerson and Wrong, 25 Jul 41, WPD 4543-1. 

"U.S. Leg Ott Telg 218, 18 Aug 41, D/S 842.20/197. 



Kingdom relationship had developed during the preceding year. Although 
resentment was greatest against the British, there was disappointment that 
the United States should have allowed Canada to be pushed aside. A solu- 
tion to the mission problem was psychologically important to prevent a 
transfer of active resentment to the United States. Moffat also surmised that 
considerations of domestic politics were a motivating force in the Canadian 
insistence on a mission. 5 " 

The political considerations relative to the mission did not weigh heavily 
in War and Navy Department deliberations. The Chief of Staff and the 
Secretary of War agreed "that foreign political considerations inimical to our 
military interests should not be allowed to determine the attitude of the War 
Department," and they approved a recommendation that the request should 
again be rejected. The substantially identical responses of the Secretaries of 
War and the Navy proposed, as an alternate solution, the establishment in 
Washington of a permanent office for the Canadian Section of the Perma- 
nent Joint Board on Defense. This proposal, which had already been ex- 
plored in informal diplomatic discussions, had been rejected by Canadian 
officials on the grounds that the subject matter for discussions contemplated 
did not belong to the Board, and that the personnel making up the Canadian 
Section were not considered suitable for this purpose. 58 

The reason for the U.S. planners' reversal of position, from their initial 
working-level acceptance of the idea of a mission to their subsequent oppo- 
sition when advising their chiefs in connection with the formal Canadian 
requests, is not clear. The answer may be that the question of command 
relationships under the 1941 defense plan came under joint discussion in the 
interim. Despite intermittent U.S. pressure beginning in March 1941, and 
lasting for over a year, the Canadian Section of the Permanent Joint Board 
and Canadian service planners vigorously opposed, as a general principle, 
assignment of parts of Canada and Newfoundland, or of Canadian forces 
located in either, to U.S. strategic or operational command. 59 This Cana- 
dian position may well have led U.S. service personnel to use the mission 
question as a quid pro quo. 

United States entry into the war provided the occasion for the next 
Canadian approach, for no longer would acceptance by the United States of 

v Ltr, Moffat to Hickerson, 5 Sep 41, D/S 842.20/203; Memo/Conv, Moffat and Robertson, 
25 Sep 41, D/S 842.20/204. 

58 Memo/Conv, Moffat and Pearson, 5 Sep 41, PDB 111-6; Ltrs, SW to Secy State, 8 Oct 
41, and Secy Navy to Secy State, 30 Sep 41, WPD 4543. Despite the Canadian view on the 
U.S. counterproposal, Maj. Gen. M. A. Pope, who was designated chairman of the Canadian 
Joint Staff upon its establishment, had been a member of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense 
for over a year, a nd served in the dual capacity for approximately two years. 

w See |Ch. v| below. 



a mission from a belligerent necessarily establish a precedent to be followed 
for nonbelligerent American republics. Action on this renewed Canadian 
request was apparently delayed pending the outcome of the Arcadia meet- 
ings and the command and liaison arrangements that emerged therefrom. 
On 10 February 1942 the Combined Chiefs of Staff received the approval of 
Roosevelt and Churchill on their recommendations for representation of the 
dominions and other powers. These recommendations envisaged the estab- 
lishment of "staff missions" in Washington. As an intermediate step and 
pursuant to a Combined Chiefs of Staff invitation announced in March, 
Canada notified the United States that Maj. Gen. Maurice A. Pope was being 
sent to Washington as the military representative of the Cabinet War Com- 
mittee to maintain, with the aid of alternates from the Navy and Air Force, 
continuous contact with the Combined Chiefs of Staff. 60 

After making this advance, Canada had not much longer to wait before 
reaching more important goals. By July 1942 U.S. service views on this and 
other points at issue had changed. The Canadian Government was able to 
advise the U.S. Secretary of State that informally it had found officers of his 
department and of the services in agreement on the establishment of a Cana- 
dian Joint Staff mission, and formally to propose this step. 61 Canadian ef- 
forts of over a year were at last rewarded with success. Concurrently, the 
U.S. attitude on the command question had relaxed considerably. By 1 June 
1942 the U.S. service members of the Permanent Joint Board had concluded 
that forcing acceptance of "unrestricted unity of command" not only would 
be resisted by the Canadian services and Cabinet but also would result in a 
diminution of Canadian co-operation. 62 This conclusion, in turn, reflected 
changes wrought by Pearl Harbor. Where close Canadian co-operation had 
not always been sought before the United States entered the war, Canadian 
co-operation in making available its strategic resources, be they air-base sites, 
highway right of way, or something else, to the United States was now 
essential and to be courted. 

The record of negotiations for establishment of the mission, with its 
undertone of acrimony, is one of the least happy aspects of the U.S. -Cana- 
dian World War II relationship. Canadian aspirations were understandable 
enough. The special geographic and historical relationships of the two 
countries would seem to have been adequate justification for a mission that 

'"'U.S. Leg Ott Telg 307, 15 Dec 41, D/S 842.20/206; Cdn Leg Note 203, 25 Mar 42, 
WPD 4543; CCS 21/1, 3 Feb 42. Pope actually arrived in Washington on 6 March. 

M Cdn Leg Note 459, 2 Jul 42, WPD 4543. In addition to General Pope as Canadian Army 
member and chairman, the initial Royal Canadian Navy and RCAF members were Rear Adm. 
V. G. Brodeur and Air Vice Marshal G. V. Walsh. 

62 Memo, SUSAM for CofS, 1 Jun 42, PDB 135-2. 



need not have become a precedent for acceptance of missions from other 
countries. Too, the desire of a soverign state, both for practical reasons and 
for political reasons at home, to speak to representatives of another govern- 
ment with its own voice and not through a third party should have been 
understandable. The importance of considerations of national pride, prestige, 
and sensitivity should also have been apparent. 

Shortly after the Canadian Joint Staff was formally established in Wash- 
ington, it raised the question of direct exchange of information with the 
U.S. services. The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff approved the principle that the 
U.S. and Canadian chiefs of staff should deal directly on matters relating to 
joint U.S. -Canadian forces and spheres of activity, and the U.S. Joint Staff 
Planners committee was assigned responsibility for maintaining continuous 
liaison with the Canadian Joint Staff. 63 

The Canadian Joint Staff was the third and last type of wartime Canadian 
service liaison established with the War and Navy Departments in Washing- 
ton, the others being liaison through the service attaches and the service 
members of the Canadian Section of the Permanent Joint Board. The gen- 
eral responsibility of the Canadian Joint Staff was to exchange information 
and co-ordinate strategic planning, deployments, and joint operational mat- 
ters with the Combined Chiefs of Staff and its subordinate committees, and 
with U.S. counterparts in the Joint Chiefs of Staff committees. 

The United States never attempted to establish similar representation in 
Ottawa. In January 1944 the U.S. Section of the Permanent Joint Board 
considered whether there might be military advantage in adopting the re- 
peated suggestion of the U.S. Ambassador in Ottawa that the military 
attache be placed in a position comparable to that of the chairman of the 
Canadian staff mission. The Senior U.S. Army Member concluded that there 
would be none. The Canadian mission was useful because the Combined 
Chiefs of Staff organization was located in Washington. No comparable 
need existed in Ottawa. 64 

Subsequent to the establishment in Washington of the Canadian Joint 
Staff, one more development in connection with the problem of representa- 
tion served further to smooth ruffled waters. On 11 November 1943 Prime 
Minister King announced that the two countries were raising their diplo- 
matic missions in the respective capitals to embassy status. This step was 
gratifying to Canadians, and was a logical one in light of Canada's increas- 
ingly important international stature." 

"JCS 82, approved 18 Aug 42. 

64 Memo, Hickerson for SUSAM, 25 Jan 44, and Reply, 29 Jan 44, PDB 109-7. 
" U.S. Emb Ott Desp 389, 1 Dec 43, D/S 124.42/69. 



Meeting at Quebec, August 1943. From left: Vice Adm. Lord Louts Mount- 
batten, Adm. of the Fleet Sir Dudley Pound, Gen. Sir Alan Brooke, Air Chief 
Marshal Sir Charles Portal, Air Marshal L. S. Breadner, Lt. Gen. Sir H. L. Ismay, 
Field Marshal Sir John Dill, Adm. E.J. King, Gen. H. H. Arnold, Adm. W. D. 
Leahy, Lt. Gen. K. Stuart, Vice Adm. P. W. Nelles, and Gen. G. C. Marshall. 

The Combined Agencies 

The establishment of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, Canada- 
United States, and the initial informal United Kingdom-United States mili- 
tary staff discussions in London in August 1940 were only the first steps in 
the creation of the complex international co-ordinating machinery for the 
conduct of all aspects of the war. As the European war expanded, agency 
after agency was established to meet the unprecedented needs for co-ordina- 
tion of total war on a global scale. The United States played a major role 
or participated in practically all of them. Canada also played a role in cer- 
tain of them, as a member as well as a contributor of resources with which 
the agencies were concerned. In other instances the direction of agencies 
had been assumed by the United States and the United Kingdom, and Canada 
stood outside along with other powers. 66 

When the Combined Chiefs of Staff committee was established in 1942, 

66 Two excellent works bearing on the subject of the U.S. -Canadian role in the British- 
American agencies are Robert W. James, Wartime Economic Co-operation: A Study of Relations 
Between Canada and the United States (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1949), and S. McKee Rosen, 
The Combined Boards of the Second World War (New York: Columbia University Press, 1951). 



the term "combined" was employed to distinguish this international agency 
and all its subordinate committees from the national interservice staff organi- 
zations that were called "joint" agencies. The term "combined" was there- 
after generally applied to subsequent international co-ordinating war agencies 
established by the United Kingdom and the United States, whether military 
or civilian organizations. 

President Roosevelt and Prime Minister King had, in the prior naming 
of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, Canada-United States, established 
a contrary pattern, which was followed for most of the U.S.-Canadian co-or- 
dinating agencies established thereafter. Both Canadian and U.S. officers 
who served in the various Canadian-U.S. agencies have indicated that a cer- 
tain amount of confusion resulted from the "joint" terminology. Working- 
level proposals for adjustments to produced uniformity of usage of the word 
"joint" were made but were never advanced to the levels required for decision. 

After the Permanent Joint Board on Defense was created, five additional 
U.S.-Canadian agencies were established, three of them before U.S. entry into 
the war and before the establishment of any of the United Kingdom-U.S. 
bodies. All were civilian agencies set up to meet needs arising from the 
conduct of the war. 

The first of these, the Joint Economic Committees, was established as 
the result of a Canadian proposal on 17 March 1941 for the appointment of 
joint committees of inquiry, which would make studies, after "a great deal 
of research and analysis," for the dual purpose of effecting a more economic, 
more efficient, and more co-ordinated utilization of the combined resources 
of the two countries in the production of war requirements, and of minimiz- 
ing the probable postwar economic disequilibrium consequent upon the 
changes the economy in each country was then undergoing. 67 

Some of the detailed subjects proposed for exploration were supplies and 
use of raw materials, co-ordination of production programs, use of trans- 
portation and power resources, and exchange of information in these areas. 
The United States accepted the proposals, and the agreement completed 17 
June 1941 established the following committees: 

United States Committee Canadian Committee 

William L. Batt R. A. C. Henry 

Harry D. White W. A. Mackintosh 

Alvin H. Hansen D. A. Skelton 

E. Dana Durand J. G. Bouchard 

A. A. Berle, Jr.— as desired H. L. Keenleyside— as desired 

L. D. Stinebower— liaison with To be designated— liaison with 

Department of State Department of External Affairs 

' EAS, 228; Privy Council 4500, 20 Jun 41. 



The establishment of the Joint Economic Committees actually was the 
second step taken by the two countries in the area of economic co-operation, 
the first step having been the Hyde Park Declaration of 20 April 1941, issued 
while the agreement on the committees was being worked out. 68 The Joint 
Economic Committees made many recommendations on diverse subjects. A 
typical recommendation was one, approved by the President and Prime Min- 
ister on 10 April 1942, providing for increased U.S. production of oil-bearing 
crops and Canadian production of oats, barley, and flax. 69 Another, approved 
simultaneously, provided for easier movement of agricultural machinery and 
laborers across the boundary. Co-operation in this matter continued on into 
postwar years. 70 Still another recommendation, of 9 August 1941, called for 
equal consideration of civilian and defense shipping requirements of the two 
countries. 71 

During 1941 the establishment of a Material Co-ordinating Committee, 
United States and Canada, was announced by William S. Knudsen, Director 
General of the U.S. Office of Production Management, with the primary 
purpose of making possible the free exchange of vital information relating 
to supplies of strategic raw materials required for defense production. 72 
Although officially designated the Material Co-ordinating Committee, the 
title was in some documents prefixed by the word "Joint." 73 Membership 
comprised two men of Knudsen's staff— William Batt, who was concurrently 
designated to serve on the Joint Economic Committees, and Howard Sykes— 
together with Canadian counterparts from the Wartime Industries Board. 
The U.S. members were later to assume additional duties as U.S. member 
and executive secretary, respectively, of the Combined Raw Materials Board, 
upon its establishment. 

By 19 September 1941 the Joint Economic Committees had concluded 
that the existing agencies did not adequately provide for the co-ordination 
of the defense production capacities of the two countries, and recommended 
establishment of a Joint Defense Production Committee "to the end that, in 
mobilizing the resources of the two countries, each country should provide 
for the common defense effort the defense articles which it is best able to 
produce." This purpose was a reaffirmation of one of the objectives of the 
Hyde Park Declaration and was generally similar to the objectives designated 
for study by the Joint Economic Committees. However, the objective of 

68 See|Ui. XI below. 

69 Department of State Bulletin, April 11, 1942, VI, 313-15. 

70 Ibid.; CTS, 1947, No. 42. 

71 Rosen, The Combined Boards, p. 85. 

72 Department of" State Bulletin, January 16, 1943, VIII, 76. 

73 For an example, see Department of State Bulletin, November 8, 1941, V, 360. 



minimizing postwar economic disequilibrium was now to be sought only 
"as far as possible and consistent with the maximum defense effort." 74 

The President and Prime Minister approved the recommendation, and 
the new committee was set up with the following membership: 75 

United States 

Milo Perkins, Executive Director, Economic Defense Board, Chairman 
J. V. Forrestal, Under Secretary of the Navy 

W. A. Harrison, Director, Production Division, Office of Production Management 

R. P. Patterson, Under Secretary of War 

E. R. Stettinius, Jr., Lend-Lease Administrator 

H. L. Vickery, Vice Chairman, U.S. Maritime Commission 


G. K. Sheils, Deputy Minister, Department of Munitions and Supply, Chairman 
J. R. Donald, Director General, Chemicals and Explosives Branch 

J. H. Carmichael, Director General, Munitions Production Branch 
R. P. Bell, Director General, Aircraft Production Branch 

H. R. MacMillan, President, Wartime Merchant Shipping, Limited 
Walter Gordon, Department of Finance 

Redesignated the Joint War Production Committee after Pearl Harbor, 
the committee, which did not hold its first meeting until 15 December 1941, 
functioned principally through ten technical subcommittees made up of U.S. 
and Canadian production and procurement officers. The ten subcommittees 
were designated tank-automotive, artillery, artillery ammunition, small arms 
and ammunition, chemicals and explosives, communications, conservation, 
aircraft, naval vessels, and merchant vessels.. 76 

United States entry into the war was also the occasion for a joint declara- 
tion calling for an all-out war production effort. Approved by the Canadian 
Cabinet War Committee and by President Roosevelt, who directed appro- 
priate U.S. agencies "to abide by its letter and spirit so far as lies within their 
power," the declaration stated: 

1. Victory will require the maximum war production in both countries in the short- 
est possible time; speed and volume of war output, rather than monetary cost, are the 
primary objectives. 

2. An all-out war production effort in both countries requires the maximum use of 
the labor, raw materials, and facilities in each country. 

3. Achievement of maximum volume and speed of war output requires that the pro- 
duction and resources of both countries should be effectively integrated, and directed 
towards a common program of requirements for the total war effort. 

74 Ibid.; Privy Council 8441, 31 Oct 41. 

75 Ibid. 

76 Privy Council 22, 2 Jan 42. 



4; Each country should produce those articles in an integrated program of require- 
ment which will result in maximum joint output of war goods in the minimum time, 

5. Scarce raw materials and goods which one country requires from the other in order 
to carry out the joint program of war production should be so allocated between the two 
countries that such materials and goods will make the maximum contribution toward the 
output of the most necessary articles in the shortest period of time, 

6. Legislative and administrative barriers, including tariffs, import duties, customs, 
and other regulations or restrictions of any character which prohibit, prevent, delay, or 
otherwise impede the free flow of necessary munitions and war supplies between the two 
countries should be- suspended or otherwise eliminated for the duration of the war. 

7. The two Governments should take all measutes necessary for the fullest imple- 
mentation of the foregoing principles. 77 

It may be noted that this joint declaration of production policy objec- 
tives, issued after U.S. entry into the war, did nor express concern over the 
need to minimize postwar economic disequilibrium as had earlier joint decla- 
rations. This shift in emphasis is perhaps another indication of one of the 
differences between the U.S. and the Canadian approach to warrime problems. 
Short-cetm wartime need was the primary U.S. motivation, while Canada 
tended to give weight as well to long-term aspects. 

A detailed examination of the operations and achievements of these joint 
agencies is outside the scope of this study. It should be noted, however, 
that during 1941 neither the committees nor rhe Hyde Park Declaration had 
been successful in achieving their objectives. The several announcements 
had in turn restated the same objectives or added committee on top of com- 
mittee with overlapping responsibilities, as if seeking the catalytic restate- 
ment of objectives or that combination of committee members which would 
produce the desired results. It appears probable that Canada, which provided 
the initial impetus to collaboration in the production and procurement areas, 
had not thus tar been able to attain the objectives it sought. 78 Apart from 
their accomplishments, these prewar committees and their efforts were im- 
portant in that they were the precursors of similar U.S.-United Kingdom 
"combined" organizations set up after Pearl Harbor. 

The U.S.-United Kingdom combined boards and committees did not 
replace any of the joint U.S. -Canadian committees, which not only continued 
their work but also were augmented by the creation of two more agencies. 
In March 1943 a Joint Agricultural Commirtee was established to keep under 
continuous study and review joint food production and distribution, in order 
to further developments that might be of help in solving wartime agricul- 
tural and food problems. The enactment by the Canadian Parliament of a 

71 Department of State Bulklni, December 27, 1941, V, 579. 

'* For d ata concerning results achieved under the Hyde Park Declaration, see below. Chapters 
[x1and |XII.| 



mutual aid program generally similar to the U.S. lend-lease program moti- 
vated establishment of the last wartime joint committee. During the 1943 
Quebec Conference, President Roosevelt and Prime Minister King estab- 
lished a Joint War Aid Committee, United States and Canada, as a means 
of co-ordinating the two arms assistance programs and of eliminating dupli- 
cation of requests and deliveries. 79 

In addition to these joint U.S.-Canadian committees, Canada and the 
United States collaborated in varying degrees through a number of the com- 
bined agencies. On the purely military side there was the Combined Chiefs 
of Staff committee. One of its nominally subordinate bodies, the (Com- 
bined) Munitions Assignments Board, enjoyed a special status. Segments 
of this board sat in London and in Washington, and both groups came with- 
in the framework of the Combined Chiefs of Staff organization. The Muni- 
tions Assignments Board in Washington had as its chairman the President's 
special assistant and confidant, Harry Hopkins. This board recommended 
allocation policies and priorities, which, after review by the Combined Chiefs 
of Staff and approval by the President (as to U.S. resources), became the basis 
for materiel allocations made by the board. 80 

Canada, which became the third largest munitions producer among the 
United Nations (exclusive of the Soviet Union), sought direct representation 
on the board in May 1942. The request was taken up by Mr. King with 
the President, and, in the Canadian view, his approval was obtained. Yet 
when the proposal came to Hopkins' attention, he succeeded in rejecting it, 
and Canadian participation did not materialize. 81 

A full pooling arrangement under which the Washington and London 
bodies allocated from the total output of the United States and the British 
Commonwealth never materialized. Later in 1942 Munitions Assignments 
Committees were established in Canada, Australia, and India, and, in prac- 
tice, each of the five bodies allocated from the residue available after the pro- 
ducing country's own requirements were met. Under such a procedure 
Canada's prime interest in the Washington body was to be heard as a claim- 
ant, and Canada was able to work out informal arrangements under which 
Canadian representatives appeared before the Munitions Assignments Board 
subcommittees to submit and defend Canadian bids. Both U.S. and British 
members sat on the Munitions Assignments Committee in Ottawa. In addi- 

79 Privy Council 2044, 15 Mar 44; Elizabeth H. Armstrong, "Canadian-American Co-opera- 
tion in War and Peace, 1940-1945," Department of State Bulletin, October 28, 1945, XIII, 676. 

80 Department of State Bulletin, January 31, 1942, VI, 87-88. Lord Beaverbrook was chairman 
of the London agency. 

81 Memo, Cdn Leg to Hopkins, 2 Jul 42, D/S 800.24/609; Memo/Conv, Moffat and Pearson, 
29 May 42, Moffat Diary; James, Wartime Economic Co-operation, p. 234. 



tion, War Supplies, Limited, the government corporation established to 
receive U.S. production orders and place them in Canada, also acted as a 
claimant in behalf of the United States before the Ottawa committee. 82 

Four other combined boards, civilian in composition, were established to 
meet wartime needs. The Combined Raw Materials Board and the Com- 
bined Shipping Adjustment Board, both created in January 1942, comprised 
only United Kingdom and U.S. personnel. No Canadians were included, 
although the U.S. member of the Combined Raw Materials Board was also 
a member of the United States-Canadian Material Co-ordinating Committee. 
Canada made several applications for formal membership on the Combined 
Raw Materials Board, but they were not successful. 83 

In June 1942 the last two boards were created by the United States and 
the United Kingdom. Neither included direct Canadian representation 
initially, but both did ultimately. The joint statement issued on 9 June 1942 
by Roosevelt and Churchill established the Combined Production and Re- 
sources Board and charged it with combining the production programs of the 
United States and the United Kingdom into a single integrated program, 
adjusted to strategic guidance from the Combined Chiefs of Staff. On 7 
November 1942 Canada was made a member of the Combined Production 
and Resources Board, and the revamped board was assigned the same task 
with regard to the pooled production resources of all three countries. The 
joint statement also established the Combined Food Board. Its purpose was 
to consider, investigate, inquire into, and formulate plans concerning the 
supply, production, transportation, disposal, allocation, and distribution of 
food. The Combined Food Board was also to work in collaboration with 
others of the United Nations toward the best utilization of their food re- 
sources. This board had had a predecessor in the Anglo-American Food 
Committee, which emerged in May 1941 after passage of the Lend-Lease Act. 

The Combined Food Board worked through ten Commodity Supply and 
-Allocation Committees, seven of which included Canadian representatives, 
although Canada was not then formally a member of the food board itself. 
Another subordinate agency of the board was the London Food Committee, 
which comprised representatives of most of the British Commonwealth coun- 
tries, but not Canada. The London Food Committee was the mechanism 
through which Commonwealth resources and requirements were reported 
to the board and board recommendations were transmitted to the Common- 
wealth members. 

82 Army Service Forces, International Division, A Guide to International Supply, pp. 13-14, 
28-29, 46; Lingard and Trotter, Canada in World Affairs, III, 236-37. 

83 James, Wartime Economic Co-operation, pp. 236-37. Rosen, The Combined Boards, has been 
the main source for the remainder of this chapter. 



According to one authority, United Kingdom partnership in this Com- 
bined Food Board rested, in the view of some Americans, on dubious grounds. 
Not itself a contributor of significant food resources, the United Kingdom 
was a major claimant for U.S. and other supplies, yet it had the prerogative 
of sharing equally in the decisions as to supply allocations. 84 On the other 
hand, Canada, a major producer of food resources, was not a formal member 
of the Combined Food Board. Formal Canadian efforts to become a mem- 
ber were made in July, when the board was only a little over a month old. 
Both the United States and the United Kingdom looked unfavorably on 
these efforts. After several months of discussion, Canada accepted as a solu- 
tion formal membership on several of the commodity committees and 
participated effectively on this level in the work of the board. Nevertheless, 
Canada continued to press for formal membership in the board itself. 85 

Formal Canadian membership finally materialized in October 1943. In 
August the U.S. War Food Administrator recommended admission of 
Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to the Combined Food Board in the 
light of the large food resources contributed by those countries. The pro- 
posal was approved by President Roosevelt and, for Canada only, by the 
United Kingdom. At London's request, Australian and New Zealand repre- 
sentation continued through the London Food Committee. On 29 October, 
Canadian acceptance of the Roosevelt-Churchill invitation was announced. 86 

With the exception of agencies established to deal with relief and post- 
war problems, the foregoing steps were the last involving the establishment 
of the international machinery for the conduct of the war and providing for 
Canadian representation in the various agencies. 87 

Throughout the greater part of World War II, the problem of Canadian 
representation in the war councils was a major irritant in U.S.-Canadian 
politico-military relations. On the U.S. side, Churchill's view that it was 
impossible to admit each of the other associated powers was shared. It was 
not a simple problem of Canada's being the third vertex of a "North Atlantic 
triangle," for many other participating allies were anxious to hold a corner 
of this polygon. Obviously the more voting members in the war councils, 

84 Rosen, The Combined Boards, p. 225. 

85 Cdn Leg Note 491, 15 Jul 42, D/S 800.5018/22-1/2; James, Wartime Economic Co-opera- 
tion, pp. 332-39. 

86 See Rosen, The Combined Boards, pp. 232-33, for a more detailed account of the negotiations. 

87 The committees in which Canada participated in some degree were dissolved as follows: Joint 
War Production Committee and Material Co-ordinating Committee, 31 December 1945; Joint 
Economic Committees, 14 March 1944; Joint War Aid Committee, 25 October 1945; Joint 
Agricultural Committee, not formally dissolved; Combined Food Board, 1 July 1946; Combined 
Production and Resources Board and Combined Raw Materials Board, 31 December 1945 (except 
for certain commodity committees). 



the more difficult became the direction of the war effort. There was merit 
in this view, yet the matter of some appropriate relationship to the war 
councils was one of great import to Canada. Canada soon became a major 
contributor of resources among the Allies, and as such, and apart from con- 
siderations of pride and prestige, merited some means of regularly express- 
ing its views. The long struggle for real recognition of Canadian sover- 
eignty had made Canadians particularly sensitive on this score, especially to 
attempts to treat Canada as a not fully autonomous member of the British 
Commonwealth. Maintaining an exclusive U.S. -United Kingdom arrange- 
ment was essential for the directing bodies only. There was no valid reason 
why Canada and the other powers could not join in pairs with the United 
States, or collectively, in consultative and similar arrangements lacking 
powers of decision. This was finally done, and met the needs of Canada and 
the other powers reasonably well without interfering with the agencies for 
strategic direction of the war. 

The U.S. reluctance to accept such arrangements until the fruit of Cana- 
dian resentment was overripe unfortunately was matched by an unnecessary 
maladroitness in dealings of interest to Canada within the North Atlantic 
triangle. In some instances matters clearly of interest to Canada were re- 
solved by the United States with the United Kingdom without consultation 
with Canada. Where such consultation took place, a plain lack of tact 
occasionally occurred to the irritation of Canadians. Another irritation to 
Canadians was the U.S. tendency to deal with the United Kingdom on mat- 
ters relating to the Commonwealth as a whole, as in the allocation of U.S. 
arms production, at the same time permitting the United Kingdom to ignore, 
override, or inadequately consider Canadian needs. In such situations the 
United States in failing to insure adequate consideration of the Canadian re- 
quirements shared with the United Kingdom the Canadian resentment. It 
is probable that the minor savings to the United States in administrative 
effort and convenience resulting from the too-long and too-rigid insistence 
on exclusive U.S. -United Kingdom arrangements were more than offset by 
the development, in Canadian dealings with the United States, of a Canadian 
wariness whose mark on postwar joint collaborative efforts was apt to be 


Joint Defense Planning 

The Permanent Joint Board on Defense, Canada-United States, made its 
initial studies on 26-27 August 1940 and submitted seven formal recom- 
mendations based thereon. These recommendations, which set forth the 
action needed to meet the most urgent joint defense problems facing Canada 
and the United States, were sufficiently comprehensive so that, by and large, 
additional recommendations were needed thereafter principally to solve "spot" 
defense problems that arose. 1 The first called for a full and complete exchange 
of information. Other recommendations provided for certain troop deploy- 
ments and defensive installations needed to insure adequate defense of New- 
foundland and the Maritime Provinces. As slightly longer-range measures, 
the Board recommended steps to assure adequate allocations of materiel, to 
improve transportation and communication facilities in the more threatened 
areas, and to stimulate materiel production. The last recommendation of 
the seven provided that the "Service Members of the Board should proceed 
at once with the preparation of a detailed plan for the joint defense of Canada 
and the United States and keep the Board informed of the progress of the 

The Board's adoption of the first six recommendations in effect prejudged 
the content of such a plan, since the requirements set forth in those recom- 
mendations for operational and logistical facilities should, in theory at least, 
have emerged from the forces and operations that the plan set forth as needed 
to carry out the assumed defense tasks. But awaiting the completion of an 
approved plan would have delayed work in the field at least several weeks, 
and the urgency of the situation induced the Permanent Joint Board to rec- 
ommend appropriate measures on the basis of informed estimates of the 

Initial Defense Plans 

At the request of the Board, the service members undertook the drafting 
of the defense plan, working closely with the Board as a whole. Work was 
advanced considerably during the 9-11 September 1940 Board meeting. At 

' For texts of all the wartime recommendations of the Permanent Joint Board, see Appendix 
[ATI below. 



the session on 9 September the Canadian members presented a paper entitled 
"Defense of the Northern Half of the Western Hemisphere." The study, 
whose geographic scope conformed to that of the terms of reference of the 
Board, concluded that the defense of the area must provide, inter alia, for 
"important strategic areas such as the Panama Canal Zone." The Board 
referred the Canadian paper to its service members for use in connection 
with their planning. 2 

By the time the Board met on 11 September, a joint draft based on an 
initial U.S. draft was ready. 3 The Board considered the draft and concluded 
that further revision was necessary. The service members completed a second 
joint draft on 25 September 1940, and the final joint draft on 10 October 
1940. 4 There was no significant difference in the basic assumptions, general 
concept, or defense tasks set out in each of the three drafts. In the succes- 
sive drafts, however, more detailed aspects of the plan were augmented and 
refined. They pertained to the allocation, by country and service, of the 
responsibilities connected with each task, and to the logistic, garrison, and 
defense facilities to be provided by each country. 

The Joint Canadian-United States Basic Defense Plan — 1940, dated 10 
October 1940 and frequently called the 1940 Plan, proposed to "provide for 
the most effective use of Canadian and U.S. Naval, Military and Air Forces 
for the joint direct defense of Canada, Newfoundland and the United States 
(including Alaska)." The plan was what U.S. planners called a "capabilities" 
plan (as opposed to a "requirements" plan), since it was based on the use 
only of forces actually available. The joint mission of those forces was "to 
defend Canada and the United States against direct attack by European and/or 
Asiatic Powers." In the situation assumed, British forces had been either de- 
stroyed or neutralized, thus permitting German and Italian offensive operations 
in the western Atlantic. Alternately or concurrently, Japan was assumed to 
have initiated hostilities in the Pacific. 5 The plan was designed for a war in 
which enemy capabilities were conceived as including seizure of a base in 
northeastern North America; hit-and-run submarine, surface, or air attacks; 
feints or minor attacks anywhere from Greenland to eastern Brazil; foment- 
ing of internal disturbances in Latin American countries; sabotage and sub- 
version; surface or submarine attacks on shipping in the Pacific; and raids on 
Pacific coastal objectives. 6 

2 PDB 133-1. 

3 Copies filed at WPD 4330-5 and PDB 133-3. 

4 Copies at PDB 133-5 and -7, respectively. 

5 PDB 133-7. 

6 Ibid. 



The joint mission was to be carried out through execution of the follow- 
ing joint tasks: 

a. Insure the safety of Canadian, United States, and friendly shipping 
on the high seas. 

b. Defend Newfoundland and protect its vital sea communications. 

c. Defend the east coast of Canada and the northeastern United States 
and protect vital sea communications. 

d. Defend Alaska and protect its vital sea communications. 

e. Defend British Columbia and the northwestern United States and 
protect vital sea communications. 7 

For the execution of each of these tasks, certain responsibilities were allocated 
to the Army, Navy, and Air arms of each country. The plan, in addition, 
set forth the base and defense facilities that were to be provided by each 
country. 8 

From the statement of joint defense tasks, it is readily apparent that the 
geographic scope of the 1940 Plan was narrower than either the terms of the 
Ogdensburg Declaration or the approach of the Canadians in the initial 
planning paper they presented at the Board meeting on 9 September 1940. 
Even the statement of the over-all joint mission, "to defend Canada and the 
United States," was overambitious. As one adviser to the U. S. Army Chief 
of Staff pointed out, although the joint mission was so written "out of defer- 
ence to the feelings of the Canadian members of the Board, actually, there 
can be no serious acceptance of the idea that the defense of other portions of 
the United States than the areas immediately contiguous to Canada can be 
considered a joint mission in the execution of which Canada could be 
expected to afford material contribution." 9 The plan as finally drafted pro- 
vided for the defense of Newfoundland, Canada, adjacent portions of the 
United States, and Alaska. Greenland, which had already been the subject 
of U.S. -Canadian discussions at the political level, was, at the request of the 
U.S. planners, excluded from the plan. 10 

The last (10 October) draft of the 1940 Plan contained a number of glar- 
ing planning gaps. No statement of availability of forces or allocation of 
detailed tasks was provided. The plan thus failed to show the correlation, 
if any, between the tasks to be carried out and the forces available for the 

1 Ibid. 

8 Ibid. These responsibilities and bas e requiremen ts appear in the First Report of the Per- 
manent Joint Board (reproduced below at |Appendix E| ) substantially as they were stated in the 
1940 Plan. 

9 Me mo. WPP for CofS, 17 Sep 40, WPD 4330-5. 

10 See lCh. VII below. 



purpose. A second omission presaged a major planning difficulty that was 
to plague the joint planners many times in the future. This was the ques- 
tion of organization and command, which went completely unmentioned. 
In reviewing the plan in the War Department General Staff, the War Plans 
Division viewed the absence of such provisions as its greatest weakness. It 
proposed the addition of specific provisions, one of which would have vested 
over-all direction of forces in Newfoundland and Canadian areas in the 
United States. Another would have vested local military command of troops 
in Newfoundland and the Maritime Provinces initially in Canada but sub- 
sequently in the United States when its forces became preponderant. 11 

Neither the service members of the Permanent Joint Board nor the Board 
itself seems to have been particularly concerned with the proposed additions, 
or with further revision of the 1940 Plan. During early 1941 the planners 
did draft an operational plan based on the concepts of the 1940 Plan, but as 
a consequence of the British-U.S. staff talks they soon devoted themselves to 
the preparation of a new plan based on new assumptions. The 1940 Plan 
was apparently not formally acted upon by the service departments of the 
two governments, and it remained neither approved nor disapproved. How- 
ever, the 1940 Plan did retain a recognized status in the Permanent Joint 
Board on Defense as the initial joint plan and the plan designed for the con- 
tingency of British collapse. As time passed this contingency became more 
remote, and the planners occupied themselves with plans designed to meet 
new situations. 

While the 1940 Plan as such was not approved or otherwise acted upon, the 
substance thereof was approved by both governments through a separate action. 
The heart of the 1940 Plan was its statement, for each of the five joint tasks, of 
the allocation of specific defense responsibilities to each country. The specific 
defense responsibilities, such as those of the Canadian Army to "provide 
ground, anti-aircraft and coastal defenses in the Maritime Provinces and the 
Gaspe Peninsula," were to become effective when the joint plan was placed 
in effect "by joint direction by the responsible heads of the Canadian and 
United States Governments." 12 

In order for the 1940 Plan to be put into effect when required, the plan 
pointed out, it would "be necessary to initiate at once the preparation and 
provision of the various facilities and resources as set forth." 13 These facili- 
ties involved construction of air bases, installation of harbor defenses, and 
similar measures. When the Board met on 2-4 October 1940, it found that 

11 Memo, WPD for SUSAM, 9 Nov 40, WPD 4330-5. 
12 PDB 133-7. 
13 Ibid. 



its service members had already produced two joint drafts during the preced- 
ing month but had yet to reach full agreement on the plan. When the 
service members could produce an agreed joint draft of the plan, there still 
remained the need for its approval by the service departments and then by 
the two governments before the recommendations could be acted upon. 
Review and examination of controversial questions, such as the command 
problem, could be prolonged. 

At the October meeting of the Permanent Joint Board the Canadian Sec- 
tion proposed, as a means of shortening this procedure, that the Board draft 
a report to the two governments embodying the recommendations of the 
plan under consideration by the service members of the Board. This pro- 
posal was adopted, and on 9 October Mr. LaGuardia presented the First Re- 
port of the Board to President Roosevelt, while Mr. Biggar took similar 
action in Ottawa. At the Board meeting of 14 November 1940, the Cana- 
dian Section was able to report approval by the Canadian Government. 14 
President Roosevelt approved the report on 19 November. 15 These actions 
in effect approved the provisions of the 1940 Plan for implementation by the 
two countries, since the report had incorporated them practically verbatim. 

The U.S. action on the First Report pointed up a situation fraught with 
potential difficulties for the War and Navy Departments. The report was 
submitted to the President by the U.S. chairman without reference to the 
two departments. Fortunately, through their review of the drafts of the 1940 
Plan, it was apparent that the War and Navy Departments were substan- 
tially in accord with the contents of the First Report. Direct access by the 
U.S. chairman to the President permitted a quick cutting of red tape. On 
the other hand, unless such actions were first fully explored by the service 
members within their departments, unsound recommendations lacking the 
support of the departments could go forward to the President. Approval of 
recommendations made them binding on the departments and would necessi- 
tate the awkwardness and complication of an appeal if the departments 
deemed them unworkable. Continuing close co-ordination by the service 
members with the War and Navy Department staffs minimized the dangers 
of this situation. 

Early Supply Assistance 

Shortly after Dunkerque and the fall of France, and even as the United 
States was in the midst of denuding itself of military equipment drawn from 
reserve stocks to aid the United Kingdom, Canada turned to the United 

""Journal, PDB 124. 

15 WPD 4330-12. For text of the First Report, see Kppendix B,| below. 



States for help in meeting its greatly increased materiel requirements. The 
initial Canadian approach, made through diplomatic channels in June 1940, 
was followed up by the presentation on 12 July in Washington by the visit- 
ing Canadian staff officers of a list of requirements. This list included the 
following items: 16 

280,500 Enfield M1917 rifles 
20 37-mm. antitank guns 
200 Machine guns, caliber .30 
600 Lewis machine guns 
500 Submachine guns, caliber .45 
20 15 5 -mm. field guns 

Ammunition for the above 

Later the same month a request was made for over a thousand naval guns of 
calibers up to four inch. At the Ogdensburg meeting on 18 August Prime 
Minister King presented President Roosevelt with another "List of Urgent 
Requirements Which It Is Understood May Be Available," on which 
appeared these items: 17 

150 3-inch antiaircraft guns 

250 Light tanks 

150 75-mm. field guns 

24 155-mm. field guns 

10 8-inch railway guns 

15 Flying boats 

Ammunition for the above 

At the first meeting of the Permanent Joint Board on 26-27 August 1940, 
a restatement of the more urgent Canadian needs was also discussed. Priori- 
ties were listed in the following order: antiaircraft artillery, coast and harbor 
defense materiel, and mobile artillery for the Canadian Army, and patrol and 
fighter planes for the Royal Canadian Air Force. New requirements, added 
to the previous lists, included sixty-six searchlights and sixty-six sound 

The Canadian Section of the Board was informed at the next meeting, 9 
September, of the nature of the available materiel. Thirty-six 3-inch anti- 
aircraft guns were reported to be available, but the Canadian request for these 
guns was withdrawn later when it was found they were so obsolete as to be 
virtually useless and had no ammunition. By November the only transfers 
the United States had been able to make from its depleted stocks totaled 

16 PDB 103-3. 

17 D/S 842.24/72A. 



80,000 Enfield rifles, 250 obsolete 6-ton M1917 light tanks, and a few air- 
craft. Also, Canada had received from the United Kingdom six of the fifty 
destroyers transferred by the United States under the destroyer-bases agree- 
ment. A few other items, notably naval and coast defense guns, were under 
discussion. But most of the items requested by Canada bore the notation 
on the consolidated request that had been compiled in the War Department: 
"no surplus" or "none available." 18 In the light of the limited assistance 
received from the United States, Prime Minister King was generous in his 
appreciation when he told the House of Commons, on 12 November 1940, 
"how much . . . the Canadian war effort owes to the co-operation of the 
United States. Aircraft and tanks for training purposes, and destroyers for 
active service, are outstanding among the many essentials of warfare." 19 

The meagerness of U.S. assistance was due, in some measure, to legisla- 
tive obstacles. An act of Congress of 2 July 1940 had authorized the Secre- 
tary of War to dispose of deteriorated, unserviceable, obsolescent, or surplus 
materiel in a manner that would permit its replacement by other needed mate- 
riel. 20 However, an act of 28 June 1940 required that, before any materiel 
could be disposed of in any manner, the Chief of Staff of the Army or the Chief 
of Naval Operations must "first certify that such materiel is not essential to 
the defense of the United States." 21 

The manner in which the United States overcame these barriers was evi- 
denced during the augmentation of the defenses of Newfoundland and the 
Maritime Provinces. On 28 November 1940 the Canadian Government 
presented, through the British Purchasing Commission, a request for eight 
10-inch disappearing-mount coast defense guns that had been reported at the 
September Board meeting as being surplus and available. These guns were 
to be mounted in pairs as part of the defenses at St. John's, Botwood, Shel- 
burne, and Gaspe. 22 Since these guns were considered surplus, the necessary 
certificate was readily made by Chief of Staff Marshall, and a directive was 
issued on 14 January 1941 authorizing the transfer. 23 

Attempts at about the same time to augment antiaircraft artillery defenses 
in Newfoundland did not as easily clear the legal hurdles. Having found 
it necessary to cancel its request for the thirty-six available 3-inch M1918 

•'Journals, PDB 124 and 103-3. 

' 9 H. C. Debates, 12 Nov 40, p. 53. Another United States measure, the sale of machine 
tools to Canada, has been credited by one Canadian authority as alone making possible the 
rapid expansion of Canadian defense production during 1940. (Dawson, Canada in World Affairs: 
1939-1941, p. 61.) 

20 PL 703, 76th Congress. 

21 PL 671, 76th Congress. 

22 Memo, for President's Liaison Committee, WPD 4323-15. 
25 Memo, SW for USW, WPD 4323-15. 



antiaircraft guns because of their obsoleteness and lack of ammunition, 
Canada sought modern guns of the same type. Such guns were in short 
supply in the United States, and their transfer would have been in clear vio- 
lation of Public Law 671. Fortunately, the U.S. Army was concurrently 
sending its initial garrison of troops to defend the new base at St. John's, 
and this garrison was to include a battery of antiaircraft artillery. On 
6 December 1940 the Chief of Staff approved the recommendation that the 
equipment of this battery be augmented by the balance of the equipment for 
an antiaircraft artillery regiment. The additional equipment, which included 
eight guns, twenty .50-caliber machine guns, ten searchlights, ammunition, 
directors, and other auxiliary equipment, was loaned to the Canadian Army 
"for training" and only technically remained in the custody of the handful 
of U.S. soldiers that accompanied it.- 4 

This precedent proved useful, for soon afterward, on 8 January 1941, the 
Canadian Army member of the Board made an "unofficial suggestion" that 
the equipment going to Newfoundland also include "a couple of . . . 155- 
mm. guns and a spot of ammunition" to fill the gap at St. John's while the 
10-inch coast defense guns were being installed. 25 Two days later, on 10 
January 1941, he was informed that the equipment would include four 155- 
mm. guns and the ammunition. Such incidents indicate how, within the 
limits of severe shortages and legislative restrictions, the United States made 
sincere efforts to accede to Canadian requests. 

A similar procedure was effective in providing U.S. materiel to augment 
Canadian defenses at the Juan de Fuca Strait in the Puget Sound boundary 
waters area, but in this case an additional problem required solution. On 
22 November 1940 Canada informally requested the transfer of four 8-inch 
railway guns. General Marshall considered this request in conjunction with 
the one for antiaircraft materiel for Newfoundland. Since no American 
troops were to be sent to the Canadian west coast, the dispatch of an armed 
detachment by the neutral United States to a belligerent Canada as custodian 
for the guns presented complications that did not exist in the Newfoundland 
situation. Marshall's advisers recommended a declaration of obsolescence. 
But the Chief of Staff felt that, for the guns in question, such a certificate 
would be dishonest and asked instead if legal transfer could not be made on 
the basis of a certificate that such transfer was "in the interest of National 
Defense of the United States." 26 Since his legal advisers declared this would 

24 WPD 4323-9. This materiel was returned near the end of 1942, by which time it had 
been replaced by Canadian equipment. 

» Ltr, to SUSAM, 8 Jan 41, PDB 104-4. 

26 Longhand Note, on Memo, ACofS WPD for CofS, 27 Nov 40, WPD 4323-8. 



not be legal, the only feasible solution appeared to be the dispatch of U.S. 
soldiers as custodians. On 18 December 1940 General Marshall and Secre- 
tary Stimson approved this solution, which Canada after some discussion 
accepted. Meanwhile, as a result of U.S. planning for installation of a 16- 
inch battery whose field of fire would cover part of the Canadian waters, 
Canada formally requested only two guns. 27 They were shipped soon after- 
ward, accompanied by a few U.S. soldiers acting ostensibly as instructors but 
actually as custodians. 

After Pearl Harbor, when Canada desired further to improve its west coast 
defenses, a second pair of 8-inch railway guns was loaned for the defense of 
Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The urgency of the new situation, with the 
United States now a belligerent and the war expanded into the Pacific, had 
made for speedy action on the request with a minimum of red tape. On 15 
March 1942, two days after the request, the guns were en route. 28 

The scale of U.S. assistance in the pre-Pearl Harbor period and imme- 
diately thereafter would appear small unless one considers that the United 
States was trying to fill tremendous deficiencies in its own rapidly mobilizing 
Army. At the same time it was trying to meet some of the urgent priority 
needs of the United Kingdom in order to help the British survive the Battle 
of Britain. Among additional items supplied to Canada during 1941 were 
the following: 

20,000 M1917 Enfield rifles 
25 37-mm. M1916 guns 
50 4-inch naval guns 
34 3-pounder naval guns 
16 155-mm. artillery howitzers 

Ammunition, accessories, and spare parts 

Within the limits of a more stringent supply position, Canada recipro- 
cated with assistance where possible. After Pearl Harbor the U.S. Army 
found serious deficiencies in its radar installations at the vital Panama Canal. 
At the suggestion of Mr. Watson-Watt, a visiting British scientist, Secretary 
of War Stimson requested of Canadian Minister of National Defense Ral- 
ston four early-warning and ground-controlled interception radar sets from 
Canadian production as a matter of the greatest urgency. 29 The four sets 
were supplied and installed soon afterward. 

27 Memo, SUSAM for ACofS WPD, 16 May 41, WPD 4323-9. 

28 Ibid. 

29 Ltr, 13 Feb 42, PDB 123-1. 



Strengthening the Garrisons 

After the fall of France had brought the Axis threat appreciably closer to 
North America, Canada in the summer of 1940 initiated the steps it could, 
consistent with its commitments and involvement in the European war, to 
improve defenses in North America. As an early step an infantry battalion, 
the Black Watch of Montreal, was deployed to Newfoundland Airport (later 
redesignated Gander Airport) in June 1940 to protect that operational trans- 
atlantic ferry base. This measure was the first significant overt expression 
of the natural Canadian vital concern in the defense of Newfoundland, an 
interest that before the first Permanent Joint Board meeting was to mature 
into a general agreement with the Newfoundland Government on questions 
of defense co-ordination. 

Part of the initial Canadian garrison at Newfoundland Airport was a 
flight of five Digby reconnaissance aircraft. By August a pair of 4.7-inch 
guns was en route to Bell Island for manning by Newfoundland personnel, 
and plans were in hand for the establishment of an advanced naval operating 
base at St. John's. At its 27 August 1940 meeting the Permanent Joint 
Board on Defense reviewed these dispositions and concluded that they were 
inadequate. To correct the situation, the Board agreed on its Second Rec- 
ommendation calling for an increase in the strength of the Newfoundland 
garrison, an augmentation of its patrol and fighter aircraft forces, the prep- 
aration of air bases for garrison by U.S. air units "when and if circumstances 
require," and such additional measures as examination showed to be neces- 
sary. 30 It is significant that the Board did not recommend immediate rein- 
forcement by U.S. forces. The next day the Canadian Government, pursuant 
to the Board's recommendation for augmentation of the Newfoundland gar- 
rison, decided to send an additional infantry battalion and to install 4.7-inch 
batteries at St. John's and Botwood. 51 

From its inception the Permanent Joint Board was aware that negotia- 
tions were in hand for the leasing of bases in Newfoundland to the United 
States. It took no official notice of them other than in the Second Recom- 
mendation until the 1 1 September meeting, after the signing of the destroyer- 
bases agreement. The Eighth Recommendation, approved at that meeting, 
asked the United States expeditiously to initiate such measures under the 
Second Recommendation as fell "within the limits of the bases . . . being 
acquired by the United States." 32 

Text at |Appendix A[ below. 
"Journal, 9-11 Sep 40 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 
" [*ippendix~?E] below. 



At the 2 October 1940 Board meeting the decision of the United States 
to send a regiment, less one battalion of infantry, with supporting troops to 
Newfoundland was made known to the Canadian Section. Winter weather 
handicapped construction of quarters, and the initial force of 58 officers and 
919 enlisted men that arrived at St. John's on 29 January 1941 was quartered 
aboard the USAT Edmund B. Alexander (formerly the America) until May 
or June. By that time tent camps had been completed, barracks construc- 
tion was under way, and the Fort Pepperrell garrison, consisting of the 3d 
Battalion, 3d Infantry, a battery of the 57th Coast Artillery (Harbor De- 
fense), and a battery of the 62d Coast Artillery (Antiaircraft), came ashore 
to stay. 

The U.S. Navy had meanwhile begun construction of the naval air sta- 
tion at Argentia in December 1940, and, on 25 January 1941, a detachment 
comprising 3 officers and 108 men of the 3d Provisional Marine Company 
landed there. The Argentia facility, which was presently expanded to in- 
clude a naval operating base, was commissioned on 15 July 1941. As early 
as two months before that date, two seaplane tenders and four destroyers 
were based at Argentia. 

The U.S. Army had also desired to establish an air garrison in New- 
foundland, but was faced with the difficulty of doing so before the construc- 
tion of an airfield could be completed on one of the leased sites. Although 
the President had earlier rejected the Air Corps' plea to include Gander Air- 
port as one of the leased areas, the War Department with the support of 
Mayor LaGuardia renewed its request on 28 November 1940, this time for 
the lease of land adjacent to the airport so that it could be used for urgently 
needed training of a composite group of U.S. Army aircraft. At the urging 
of the President the War and Navy Departments restudied the problem and, 
on 30 January 1941, recommended that a lease not be sought but that an 
informal basis for stationing an air unit at Gander be worked out with 
Canada through the Permanent Joint Board. The President approved this 
recommendation and the suggestion that appropriate language be included 
in the leased-bases agreement to provide for the status of forces stationed 
outside the areas of the leased bases. This action was apparently the genesis 
of Article XIX of the leased-bases agreement. 33 

Although the informal arrangements worked out provided that Canada 
would make available facilities for two U.S. squadrons by 1 May 1941 and 

53 Ltr, SW to President, 28 Nov 40, WPD 4351-9; Ltr, LaGuardia to President, 29 Nov 40, 
and Memos, President for SW and Secy Navy, 30 Nov 40, all in Roosevelt Papers, Official File 
4101; Ltr, SW and Secy Navy to President, 30 Jan 41, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 78; 
JPC Rpt, 8 Jan 41, WPD 4404-2; |Ch. VII] below. 



the balance of the facilities by early autumn, it soon became evident that 
these facilities would not materialize on schedule. The delay appeared to be 
connected with the unanswered question of responsibility for the defense of 

The first joint effort to resolve the question of defense responsibilities in 
Newfoundland had been in the First Report of the Permanent Joint Board, 
approved at the 2-4 October 1940 meeting. In the report, Canada had been 
assigned the responsibility for the "initial" defense of Newfoundland "except 
insofar as the United States . . . [might] be in a position to participate in 
such initial defense." 34 Subsequent discussions of the command question 
revealed that U.S. willingness to accept the assignment of the "initial" de- 
fense responsibility to Canada was based on the expectation that, as soon as 
U.S. forces outnumbered Canadian forces, the responsibility would pass to 
the United States. 

On 27 March 1941, the same day that the detailed leased-bases agreement 
between the United Kingdom and the United States was signed, a protocol 
was signed at Canadian instance by these two governments and Canada de- 
lineating the Canadian role in the defense of Newfoundland. According to 
the protocol, the signatories (a) recognized that Newfoundland defense was 
an integral part of the Canadian defense scheme, (b) agreed that Canadian 
defense interests would be respected, (c) continued in effect existing arrange- 
ments made through the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, and (d) pro- 
vided for inclusion of Canada in certain consultations under the leased-bases 
agreement. 35 Canada in requesting that the protocol be signed signified its 
unwillingness to have the defense of Newfoundland become a U.S. respon- 
sibility or to allow the United States to assume the leading role in that 
defense. 36 

The United States, on the other hand, was apparently not entirely satis- 
fied with the defensive scheme and with the progress of the Gander Airport 
arrangements. Immediately after the leased-bases agreement was signed, the 
United States under the authority of Article XIX asked the United Kingdom 
to approve the dispatch of U.S. air forces to Gander Airport on a temporary 
basis until such time as U.S. air-base construction was completed. The 
United Kingdom gave its approval on 8 April 1941 and undertook to inform 
the governments of Canada and Newfoundland. 37 

54 |Appendix ~b] below. 

55 LAS, 235; O S, 1941, No. 2. 

,6 D/S Telg 973, to London, 22 Mar 41, PDB 107-9; H. C. Debates, 27 Mar 41, p. 1904; 
Dawson, Canada in World Affairs; 1939-1941, p. 217. 

37 WPD Memo/Conv, Col Crawford and Hickerson, 11 Apr 41, which cites telegram of 9 
April from London, PDB 107-9. The United States request also sought authority for similar 
emergency deployments to Bermuda and Trinidad. 



The arrangement came as a surprise to Canada, and at the 16-17 April 
1941 meeting of the Permanent Joint Board the U.S. Section explained the 
"sequence of events which led to the decision," pointing out that the ar- 
rangement made by Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt en- 
visaged that the action would be taken in consultation with the Board. 38 
The arrival in Newfoundland on 1 May 1941 of the reinforcements, the 21st 
Reconnaissance Squadron of six B-18 medium bombardment aircraft, two 
8-inch guns, and miscellaneous small units, raised the garrison by 646 to a 
total of 1,666 officers and enlisted men. 39 

In keeping with the tripartite protocol, the mission and responsibility 
of the U.S. garrison (designated the Newfoundland Base Command) was 
defined to include the defense of the U.S. bases, co-operation with Cana- 
dian and British forces in defending Newfoundland and adjacent Canada, 
the support of U.S. Navy forces, and the destruction of any German or 
Italian forces encountered. 40 Although the assigned missions of U.S. and 
Canadian forces technically did not overlap, had enemy attack on Newfound- 
land actually occurred, operations by the two sets of forces would have been 
substantially the same in nature and scope. A critical need for co-ordinated 
command would have existed. The need was recognized and was long a 
preoccupation of the commanders in Newfoundland and of higher-level 
staffs. 41 

The United States continued to reinforce its ground and air garrison in 
Newfoundland, which had reached a strength of 2,383 by 1 December 1941. 
In August the 4lst Reconnaissance Squadron of eight B-17B Flying Fortress 
aircraft had replaced the 21st Squadron, and on the eve of Pearl Harbor an- 
other squadron of B-17B aircraft was preparing to move to Newfoundland. 
The first attack by these units on Axis submarines had occurred on 27 Octo- 
ber 1941, two days after the initial RCAF attack. With the intensification 
of submarine warfare in the western Atlantic after 7 December, air attacks 
on submarines became more numerous. 42 

The Canadian Army defense garrison in Newfoundland by mid-July 1941 
had increased to 2,389, and included two infantry battalions and antiaircraft 
and coast defense artillery units. Additional deployments totaling 1,298 

,8 Memo/Conv, Robertson and Moffat, 10 Apr 41, Moffat Diary; Journal, PDB 124. 

59 The Canadian Government had itself increased the RCAF garrison by moving to New- 
foundland on 11 April, apparently as a countermove upon learning of the U.S. plan, No. 10 
Bomber Reconnaissance Squadron, which had had a flight of five aircraft in Newfoundland since 
June 1940. 

40 Cr aven and Cate (eds.) Plans and Early Operations, p. 156. 

41 See |Ch. vj below. 

42 Craven and Cate (eds.), Plans and Early Operations, p. 157; Memo, E. M. Watson for 
President, 27 Oct 4l, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File Box 78. 



were planned by 1 September 1941 in order to increase the Canadian infan- 
try garrison to three battalions — Les Fusiliers de Sherbrooke at St. John's, 
the Lincoln and Welland Regiment at Gander Airport, and the Prince Ed- 
ward Island Highlanders at Botwood. The Royal Canadian Air Force con- 
currently operated a bomber reconnaissance squadron of B-18 aircraft from 
Gander Airport. 

The Maritime Provinces, according to the Permanent Joint Board's Third 
Recommendation, had a strategic importance "similar to that of Newfound- 
land." 4i Here, too, the defenses were designed to meet enemy capabilities 
which, until such time as Britain might fall, were estimated to include bom- 
bardment by one or two naval vessels, minor submarine or surface raids, and 
occasional nuisance air attacks. The Maritime Provinces were more heavily 
defended than Newfoundland. The garrisons there, unlike those in New- 
foundland, included not only the operational defensive deployments of the 
Canadian Army Atlantic Command and the Royal Canadian Air Force 
Eastern Air Command but also additional units in various states of mobiliza- 
tion and training. The Royal Canadian Navy Atlantic Coast command was 
also based on ports in the Maritime Provinces. As the Second Recommen- 
dation indicates, the required additions to the Maritime Provinces defenses 
were not infantry or artillery ground defense forces but special harbor defense 

and similar measures. 

In February 1941 Canadian Army Atlantic Command forces in the Mari- 
time Provinces included the 3d Infantry Division and four infantry and two 
machine gun battalions, while substantial additions to the coastal defense 
establishments were under way. The Eastern Air Command concurrently 
based approximately three bomber reconnaissance squadrons in the Provinces, 
plus a number of other units in varying states of formation and equipment. 
Ten months later, on 17 December 1941, the Canadian Army Atlantic Com- 
mand garrisons included the following numbers and units: 44 

Maritime Provinces 

5 infantry battalions 
2 machine gun battalions 
14 coast and antiaircraft artillery batteries 
4 searchlight batteries 




3 infantry battalions 
3 artillery batteries 


General reserve 

1 infantry division (less certain units) 


4 ' lAppendix Al below. 

4 < Memo, SUSAM for ACofS WPD, 27 Jan 42, PDB 135-2. 



The United States provided no part of the garrisons in the Maritime Prov- 
inces, but it had been given the responsibility of reinforcing them in the 
event of a major attack. 45 

On the North Pacific littoral, the defense of Alaska was primarily the 
concern of the United States. For more than a year Permanent Joint Board 
recommendations with regard to Alaska were limited to two relating to the 
air staging route. This is probably a reflection of the state of affairs up until 
Pearl Harbor. During this period Canada, which was using the recommen- 
dations made in the Board as a means of achieving its immediate military 
objectives, had only a secondary interest in Alaska. However, the 1940 Plan 
and the First Report based thereon both included provisions for Alaskan de- 
fense. These provisions were probably the result of the necessarily over-all 
approach of the strategic planning studies. Through the medium of the 
Board, Canada maintained an active interest in U.S. defensive preparations in 
Alaska, and these preparations were reported on regularly at Board meetings. 
Naturally, interest was intensified after the beginning of the war with Japan. 

The fall of France had given impetus to the development of U.S. defen- 
sive installations in Alaska, but considerable time was required before appro- 
priations could be converted into facilities and garrisons. At the time of the 
establishment of the Permanent Joint Board, U.S. Army forces in Alaska 
numbered about 1,200 officers and enlisted men. 46 

The First Report of the Board charged Canada with the development of 
air staging facilities between Alaska and the United States and the United 
States with the completion of Army bases at Anchorage and Fairbanks, Navy 
bases at Sitka, Kodiak, and Dutch Harbor, and air bases at Ketchikan, 
Yakutat, Cordova, Anchorage, Bethel, Nome, and Fairbanks. The United 
States was assigned the responsibility of providing the necessary defense 
forces, while Canada was to support these forces if required. Unlike the 
Permanent Joint Board recommendations for the east coast, those for the 
west coast did not specify the strength of the Alaska garrisons. But the 
Board did monitor regularly the reports submitted at Board meetings on the 
progress of construction and the reinforcement of the garrisons. By the end 
of 1940, reinforcements had increased the strength of U.S. Army units in 
Alaska to over 4,000. 

During 1941 a build-up of the garrisons at the U.S. bases in Alaska 
occurred as rapidly as the construction of facilities permitted. By 30 No- 

First Report, [Appendix B| below. 
46 For accounts of the pre- Pearl Harbor development of Alaskan defenses, see Watson, Chief 
of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations , pp. 454-58; Morison, The Battle of the Atlantic, pp. 
163-65; and Craven and Cate (eds.), Plans and Early Operations, pp. 166-70. 



vember 1941 an Army and Air Forces strength of 21,945 was reached, of 
which the major elements were two infantry regiments, four infantry battal- 
ions, one pursuit squadron, and two bomber squadrons. 47 

The pre-Pearl Harbor story was generally the same for the Canadian 
Pacific coast and the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The formal recom- 
mendations of the Permanent Joint Board virtually ignored the defensive 
requirements of these areas. The broader approach of the 1940 Plan, and of 
the First Report framed thereon, had made some provision for these areas: 

a. On the Atlantic coast, the United States was to reinforce the Mari- 
time Provinces in case of major attack and to develop the transportation fa- 
cilities necessary to permit such action. 

b. On its Pacific coast, the United States was to provide coast defense 
and air bases in the boundary waters area, to control and protect shipping, 
and to provide a one-division mobile reserve for employment in the boundary 

c. Canada, on its Pacific coast, was to provide coast and air defense 
facilities, naval and coastal defense in selected areas, and the initial ground, 
antiaircraft, coast, and air defense of British Columbia. 48 

The U.S. drafters apparently attached the same significance to the word 
"initial" in the requirements for British Columbia as they did in the case of 

Ten days after Pearl Harbor the strength of the Canadian Army Pacific 
Command garrisons on the west coast totaled 9,473 and included three in- 
fantry battalions, eight artillery battalions, and a general reserve of one 
infantry brigade, one field artillery regiment, and one reconnaissance battal-' 
ion. Although the United States nominally established Northeast and 
Western Defense Commands for its east and west coasts on 17 March 1941, 
the defense requirements of the western portions of both countries remained 
in a lower priority than the eastern portions until after the Japanese attack 
on 7 December. 

ABC-1 and ABC-22 

When the service members of the Permanent Joint Board prepared the 
first joint draft of the 1940 Plan on 11 September 1940, they based it on 
"strength actually existing" and indicated a need for subsequent plans, in- 
cluding a 1941 plan based on the estimated strength as of 1 May 1941. 49 By 
the time of the 20 January 1941 meeting, the Board noted that the 1940 Plan 

47 Western Defense Command, History of the Western Defense Command, Vol. I, Annex 

48 See |Appendix~Bl below. 

49 First Joint Draft of 1940 Plan, WPD 4330-5. 



was obsolete and that a 1941 plan was already being discussed by the service 
members. But the planning process was complicated by events that were 
taking place. The first of the British-U.S. staff meetings was held a few days 
after the January Board meeting, and these meetings continued during the 
next two months. 50 

During this period work on a new U.S.-Canadian plan marked time, and 
on 27 February the Board was informed at its meeting in Buffalo that pre- 
paratory work on the 1941 plan had not progressed sufficiently far for a meet- 
ing of the service members to be useful. Nevertheless, the Board, in the 
absence of General Embick who was the senior U.S. Army representative in 
the British-U.S. conversations, discussed at length the need for further plans. 
It recognized that in addition to planning for the contingency of a British 
collapse, a plan was needed that would provide for the contingency of U.S. 
entry into the European war. 51 This recognition was probably the initial 
impact on the views of the Board of the U.S. -British conference, whose entire 
effort was devoted to planning for that contingency. 

Between 27 February and 27 March the British-U.S. planners drafted their 
report at informal sessions on the basis of the exchange of views during the 
preceding plenary sessions. The report stated that Canadian military repre- 
sentatives were associated with the United Kingdom delegation throughout 
the course of these conversations but were not present at joint meetings. 52 
Neither the minutes of the joint meetings nor pertinent U.S. working papers 
cast any light on the character of the association. "* 

Whatever the nature of the United Kingdom-Canadian association during 
the conversations, the report thereon had several significant effects on the 
development of U.S.-Canadian planning: 

a. The conference agreed that the "High Command of the United 
States and United Kingdom . . . [would] collaborate continuously in the 
formulation and execution of strategical policies and plans which . . . 
[should] govern the conduct of the war." The fuller significance of this 
assumption of supreme direction is apparent in the word "Command." whose 
singular form was a change from the plural of an earlier draft. 54 

b. The strategic concept and the principal policies for achieving the 
objective of "the defeat of Germany and her Allies" were offensive in nature, 
although the detailed war plan provided for the many defensive tasks that 

^"See lCh. IlH above. 

51 Journal, PDB 124. 

52 Pearl Harbor Attack, Pt. 15, p. 1485. 

"These minutes and papers are filed in several folders in WPD 4402-89. 
54 BUS(J) (41)22, OPD Exec 4, Item 11. 



would also need to be performed. United States-Canadian planning had been 
entirely defensive in its approach. 

c. Upon entering the war, the United States was to assume responsi- 
bility for the strategic direction of U.S., British, and other associated military 
forces in the Western Hemisphere except "the waters and territories in which 
Canada assumes responsibility for the strategic direction of military forces, 
as may be defined in the United States-Canada joint agreements." 55 

d. The report agreed on "principles of command" that envisaged a su- 
perior commander of one country commanding troops of other countries 
through their own national commanders. 

The final editing of the report took place on 27 March 1941, although 
the minutes of the fourteenth and last meeting on 29 March record formal 
approval as of 29 March. At this meeting the short title "ABC-1" was as- 
signed to the document, whose full title was "United States-British Staff 
Conversations, Report." There appears to be no evidence to support a theory 
that Canada alone among the other associated powers was singled out for 
inclusion in the short title, in which the letters A and B stood for American 
and British, despite the fact that the ABC usage was soon adopted by the 
United States and Canada, which gave the short title ABC-22 to their next 
defense plan. 56 

By the time the British-U.S. meetings ended, the service members of the 
Permanent Joint Board had prepared two distinct joint draft plans. Plan 1, 
which had already passed through several joint drafts, was an implementa- 
tion of the 1940 Plan and was based on the concept of a joint U.S.-Canadian 
war effort without outside aid. Plan 2 was based on a different concept and 
different assumptions and envisaged the contingency of U.S. entry into the 
war alongside Great Britain, as contemplated in ABC-1. 57 

The Senior U.S. Army Member of the Permanent Joint Board submitted 
the draft of Plan 1, which was in the more advanced state, to the War Plans 
Division of the War Department General Staff. In commenting on this 
draft the War Plans Division, by that time apparently confident of British 
success in the Battle of Britain, expressed the principal criticism that a greater 

" Pearl Harbor Attack, Pt. 15, p. 1485 et passim. 

56 The "C" in ABC stood for conversations or conference (or possibly Commonwealth). 
The statement of General of the Army H. H. Arnold, wartime commander of the Army Air 
Forces, in Global Mission (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1949), p. 255, that the ABC plan 
referred to America- British-China is inaccurate. Besides ABC-22, another offspring of ABC-1 
was the ADB report of the American-Dutch-British conversations in Singapore in April 1941. 
This detailed plan for the conduct of Far East operations is reproduced in Pearl Harbor Attack, 
Pt. 15, pp. 1551-84. 

"Memo, SUSAM for CofS, 31 Mar 41, PDB 135-2. 



need existed for a plan based on the hypothesis that the United States might 
find it necessary to enter the war and fight with Great Britain. The War 
Plans Division also felt that matters of strategic direction and command were 
not adequately covered. 58 

As a result of lack of War Department support for further planning based 
on Plan 1, no more work was done on it. A few days after War Plans Divi- 
sion criticized Plan 1, the Senior U.S. Army Member of the Permanent Joint 
Board was able to respond by submitting a new draft of Joint Canadian- 
United States Basic Defense Plan 2, dated 10 April 1941 and bearing the 
short title "ABC-22." 59 Although this draft was based on the pertinent 
assumptions in ABC-1, War Plans Division also took exception to Plan 2, 
again because of the provisions on strategic direction and command. 60 

By this time the questions of command and strategic direction had be- 
come a major issue in the Board, the service departments, and to some ex- 
tent, the political departments of the two countries. 61 United States service 
proposals for vesting in the United States the strategic direction of forces 
in Newfoundland and certain Canadian areas were not acceptable but were 
argued for over a month while planning ceased. Agreement in principle was 
reached in the Board at the 28-29 May 1941 meeting. This agreement per- 
mitted the service members on 4 June to agree on a revised joint draft of 
ABC-22. The War Plans Division still considered the command arrange- 
ments defective but was willing to interpose no objection to the acceptance 
of the new draft. 62 On 11 June the Senior Canadian Army Member of the 
Board submitted a number of amendments to Plan 2, one of which called for 
the establishment of a Canadian military mission in Washington. This new 
proposal was followed on 1 July by a formal Canadian request for a mission, 
and, from that time until the United States replied on 25 July, ABC-22 plan- 
ning languished. 63 Thereafter, although Canada failed to get its military 
mission in Washington and the United States failed to get the arrangement 
it desired for strategic direction of forces in Newfoundland and certain Ca- 
nadian areas, the questions were resolved, at least for the time being, and at 
the 29-30 July 1941 Board meeting the service members could report agree- 
ment on Plan 2. 

58 Memo, for SUSAM, 7 Apr 41, WPD 4330-21. 

59 This was the first use of the designation ABC-22. The meaning of the number "22" 
and its relation, if any, to the numbers assigned to the two reports of the ABC conversations, 
ABC-1 and ABC-2, are not recorded in U.S. files. 

60 Memo, for SUSAM, 2 May 41 , WPD 43 30-22. 

61 A full account is contained in KJhapter "VI below. 
1st Ind. to SUSA M. 17 Jun 42, PDB 135-2. 


of comman3 

Chapter III above, for an account of the negotiations and their bearing on the question 



ABC-22 was formally reviewed in the U.S. War and Navy Departments 
and was approved by the Secretary of the Navy on 16 August and by the 
Secretary of War on 18 August 1941. The two Secretaries transmitted the 
plan to President Roosevelt on 20 August 1941 recommending that he ap- 
prove it, and he did so on 29 August. The President's action on ABC-22 
contrasted sharply with that on ABC-1, which he saw fit only to note and 
to instruct that it be returned for approval if the United States should enter 
the war. 54 Review of the plan proceeded more slowly in Canada, where "sup- 
plementary questions" were still being asked in early October. On 15 Octo- 
ber 1941 the Cabinet War Committee finally gave the government's approval 
to ABC-22. 65 

In its broad outlines ABC-22 differed only slightly from the aborted Plan 
1 and its predecessor, the 1940 Plan. The ABC-22 tasks were those required 
for the defense of northern North America (less Greenland) in an offensive 
war against Germany. Whereas the 1940 Plan called for protection of only 
such overseas shipping as was on the high seas when the plan was put into 
effect, ABC-22 included as a major task the continuing protection of over- 
seas shipping throughout the western Atlantic and the Pacific areas. The 
defensive tasks were otherwise substantially the same. Naturally, under the 
different assumptions of the two plans, different estimates of enemy capabili- 
ties called for different defensive deployments and strengths. Both plans 
were capabilities plans, rather than requirements plans, and set forth only the 
forces actually available for execution of the necessary tasks. 

Command, which had not been specifically touched upon in the 1940 
Plan, was in ABC-22 to be co-ordinated through mutual co-operation, ex- 
cept where special agreements were made for unified commands. With one 
exception, the defense responsibility, in each land area, and presumably the 
command responsibility as well, was assigned to the sovereign country. In 
Newfoundland, where neither Canada nor the United States was sovereign, 
the defense was made a common task of the U.S. and Canadian Armies and 
the Royal Canadian Air Force. In the only other area where the two coun- 
tries had equal juridical status, the defense responsibility was assigned, in 
consonance with the status quo, to the United States. This was on the high 
seas, in the northern portions of the Pacific and western Atlantic Ocean 
areas, where the United States was made responsible for the protection of 
shipping. One clause in the plan provided that, if circumstances warranted, 

"Memo, Secy GS for CofS, 29 Aug 41, PDB 135-2; Madoff and Snell, Strategic Planning 
for Coalition Warfare, 1941-1942, p. 46. The memorandum is contained in Pearl Harbor Attack, 
Pt. 3, p. 997; see also pp. 993-96. 

65 Ltr, Pope to Embick, 16 Oct 41, PDB 135-2. 



the forces of one country might temporarily extend their operations into the 
other country. 

The plan was to go into effect when directed by the two governments. As 
a war plan, most of its provisions would be acted upon only when it was 
placed in effect. Like the 1940 Plan, ABC-22 included a statement of the 
facilities to be provided by each country. In the Annex to ABC-22, the 
planners had found it necessary only to list these facilities, since arrangements 
for their provision had already been agreed upon in the First Report of the 
Permanent Joint Board or in subsequent recommendations. ABC-22 was 
the last joint U.S. -Canadian defense plan prepared by the service members of 
the Permanent Joint Board on Defense during World War II. 

Putting Plans Into Action 

Even before ABC-22 was completed the preparation of the subordinate 
plans necessary to translate its broad allocations of missions into detailed 
operating plans for field commands had already been begun. In the United 
States, the joint Army-Navy Rainbow plans provided the approved basis for 
detailed service planning. While ABC-22 was being drafted, the U.S. Joint 
Planning Committee was given new direction in its work on Joint Army and 
Navy Basic War Plan— Rainbow 5, which was now to be based on ABC-1 
and ABC-22. 66 As a matter of fact, when ABC-22 was completed, it was 
appended as Annex II to Rainbow 5, which had been approved by the Sec- 
retaries of War and the Navy on 2 June and 28 May 1941, respectively. The 
joint Army-Navy plan Rainbow 5 became the basis of the more detailed 
War Department Operations Plan— Rainbow 5, and the Navy Basic War 
Plan — Rainbow 5. These in turn were the basis for plans of the defense 
commands, departments, naval coastal frontiers, and other subordinate Army 
and Navy commands. All of these plans therefore reflected the basic alloca- 
tions and provisions of ABC-22. In a few instances implementation of 
ABC-22 took the form of preparation of local joint U.S.-Canadian plans in 
boundary areas of mutual interest. But in the area in most urgent need of 
such a plan, Newfoundland, no co-ordinated planning took place until after 
Pearl Harbor. 

The first local plan had been drafted for the Puget Sound-Juan de Fuca 
Strait area in Washington State and British Columbia many months before 
the drafting of ABC-22. The problem of co-ordination of defenses there 
occasioned an inspection trip to the area in September 1940 by Brigadier 

66 Matloff and Snell, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1941-1942, pp. 40-46. For 
an account of Rainbow planning, see Cline, Washington Command Post: The Operations Division, 
pp. 55-59, and Matloff and Snell, Ch. I. 



Stuart, the Canadian Army Board member, and Colonel McNarney, the U.S. 
Army Air Corps officer on the Permanent Joint Board. After conferring with 
the harbor defense commanders of the two countries in the area, Stuart and 
McNarney recommended to their departments that a joint plan for the area 
be prepared. Accordingly, the War Department on 28 September 1940 di- 
rected the Commanding General, Fourth Army, to initiate the planning. 67 
On 21-22 October a joint board of five U.S. and Canadian officers made a 
complete study of the problem on the ground, discussed it with the local 
commanding officers, and drafted an International Joint Defense Plan for 
Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound Area. 68 The conclusions and recom- 
mendations of this plan called for installation of certain additional armament, 
improvement of communications, preparation of joint codes, exchange of 
liaison officers, and other measures. Most of the recommendations, modified 
in some instances after review in Washington and Ottawa, were placed in 
effect and became the first co-operative measures between commands of the 
two countries on tactical levels. 

Subsequent to the U.S. approval of ABC-22, a joint area plan based thereon 
was prepared for all of the U.S.-Canadian west coast, including Alaska, as a 
result of War Department instructions issued on 29 September 1941. 69 A 
defensive plan, with short title "ABC( Pacific) -22," was completed and ap- 
proved as of 22 January 1942 (for the United States) by the Commanding 
General, Western Defense Command, and the Commander, Pacific Northern 
Naval Coastal Frontier, and (for Canada) by the General Officer Command- 
ing-in-Chief, Pacific Command; Commanding Officer, Pacific Coast (Royal 
Canadian Navy); and the Air Officer Commanding, Western Air Command. 

The real and more important implementation of ABC-22 was the action 
on the measures it set forth as necessary to permit the carrying out of the 
plan. These measures called for construction or installation of certain de- 
fensive works, operational bases, and logistical facilities. Although ABC-22 
was presumably not in effect until so ordered, work on these essential meas- 
ures listed in the plan was put under way at once, long before the plan was 
officially placed in effect. 

Once the Canadian Government had, on 15 October 1941, matched the 
earlier action of the U.S. Government in approving ABC-22, this plan had 
not long to remain on the shelf of war plans before it was put into effect. 
The Japanese struck Pearl Harbor at 1:25 P.M. (Washington time) on 7 
December 1941. At 10:25 A.M. the next morning, General Embick, the 

67 WPD 4330-9. 

68 Copy filed at WPD 4330-9. 

69 History of the Western Defense Command, I, 10. 



Senior U.S. Army Member of the Permanent Joint Board, telephoned Briga- 
dier Pope, his opposite number in Ottawa, that the United States had placed 
ABC-22 in effect "as it applies to Japan," and requested similar action by 
the Canadian Government. A telephone call the same afternoon between 
these two officers reported that the same action had been ordered by the Ca- 
nadian Minister of National Defense. 70 At 4:10 P.M. that afternoon Presi- 
dent Roosevelt approved the joint resolution of Congress declaring the 
existence of a state of war between the United States and Japan. Canada, 
already at war with two of the Axis Powers, formalized the existence of a 
state of war with Japan by an order-in-council of 7 December. 71 

On 11 December Congress passed, and the President approved at 3:05 
P.M., similar joint resolutions regarding Germany and Italy. 72 Four hours 
earlier the Chief of Staff had issued orders to his subordinate field commanders 
placing Joint Army and Navy Basic War Plan — Rainbow 5, and the corre- 
sponding War Department Operations Plan, in effect. The ABC-22 plan, 
as Annex II to Rainbow 5, went into general effect at that time. The com- 
parable Canadian action was reported on 22 December, when the U.S. Sec- 
tion of the Board was advised that the Canadian Government had instructed 
the Canadian Chiefs of Staff "to place ABC-22 in effect without qualifica- 
tion. 73 

70 Confirming Memos, 8 Dec 41, PDB 135-2. 

71 PL 328, 77th Congress; Privy Council 9592. 

72 PL 331, and 332, 77th Congress. 
73 Ltr, Pope to U.S. Section, PDB 135-2. 


Organization and Command 

The several joint strategic defense plans whose preparation was under- 
taken pursuant to the Seventh Recommendation of the Permanent Joint 
Board on Defense necessarily concerned themselves with problems of co-ordi- 
nation and command jurisdiction. Divergent U.S. and Canadian points of 
view regarding the solution of these problems were intensified after Pearl 
Harbor had brought the war to the threshold of the United States. This 
was due to U.S. unwillingness to leave in the hands of another power the 
defense of contiguous border areas whose adequate defense was vital to the 
security of the United States. 

Other factors added to the complexity of the problem of U.S. -Canadian 
co-ordination after Pearl Harbor. Until then the joint relationship involved 
a common defense problem to be worked out on a mutual basis using newly 
developed patterns and precedents. After 7 December 1941 certain important 
continental defense requirements continued to exist, but the principal foci of 
U.S. military interest shifted from North America to Europe and North 
Africa, and to Alaska and the mid-Pacific islands. Canada thus became to 
the United States primarily a territory astride or bordering on essential ground, 
air, and sea lines of communications to the areas in which the major engage- 
ments with the Axis forces were to take place. 

Within Canadian territory a vast complex of logistical facilities became 
necessary for the support of friendly forces in combat zones. The United 
States, with its preponderance of resources, undertook the development of 
the greater part of the logistical facilities required in Canada and in the North 
American areas. The development work took on, to a large extent, the ap- 
pearance of a U.S. -directed unilateral operation on Canadian territory, with 
Canada providing rights of way, auxiliary facilities, and the like. Logistical 
tasks, although of joint interest, did not lend themselves to joint direction 
as did defense tasks, since they were undertaken primarily by the United 
States and principally with its own resources. 

As more logistical tasks were undertaken, the movement into Canada of 
U.S. construction, communications, and other organizations mushroomed 
rapidly. The functioning of this quickly growing establishment presented 
many new problems of co-ordination, political and military, from the govern- 
mental level to the lowest operating echelons. 



Unity of Operational Command 

Disagreements between Canada and the United States over the command 
question had begun when the first joint defense plan, the 1940 Plan, was 
drafted. No direct command provisions were incorporated in it, although 
allocations of territorial responsibilities were made that presumably included 
command responsibility. The 1940 Plan set forth the following allocation 
of defense responsibilities: 1 

a. All Canadian territory, to Canada. 

b. All U.S. territory, including Alaska, to the United States. 

c. Newfoundland— to Canada, the "initial . . . defenses, except in so 
far as the United States . . . [might] be in a position to participate in such 
initial defense"; to the United States, the defense of U.S. bases. 

d. Control of shipping in the Atlantic approaches to North America, 
to Canada. (The Royal Canadian Navy was already handling the task.) 

e. Canadian coastal waters, to Canada. 

f. United States coastal waters and all North American offshore sea ap- 
proaches, to the United States, except for air patrol of approaches to New- 
foundland and eastern Canada by the Royal Canadian Air Force. 

In U.S. and Canadian territorial waters and land areas, the assignment of 
responsibilities was strictly along lines of national sovereignty. In New- 
foundland, governed by the United Kingdom through a Royal Commission 
and soon to be garrisoned by U.S. as well as Canadian forces, the responsibili- 
ties overlapped. In addition, the provision of the plan allocating initial over- 
all defense responsibility for Newfoundland to Canada implied subsequent 
allocation of the responsibility to the United States. 

The allocation of responsibilities in the North Atlantic approaches to 
North America reflected the close liaison that was developing among the 
naval services of Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. A 
big factor in the agreement on command arrangements based on military 
principles that U.S. officers considered soundest was the fact that arrange- 
ments on the high seas were not inhibited by considerations of national 
sovereignty or by historic U.S. and Canadian psychological attitudes. 2 

The U.S. service members of the Permanent Joint Board had foreseen the 
need for guidance on the command question immediately after the first 
Board meeting and before the drafting of the 1940 Plan. The Chief of Staff 
on 9 September agreed that the United States should propose to assume pri- 

1 The 1940 Plan is filed at PDB 133-5. 

2 For a brief account of the joint naval operations in the North Atlantic, see |Chapter IX 



mary responsibility for the defense of the Maritime Provinces through their 
inclusion in the New England Sector of the frontier coastal defense system. 
For the time being, no defense or command responsibility was to be sought 
in Newfoundland or British Columbia. 3 Actually, as each of the drafts of 
the 1940 Plan was prepared, including the last (10 October 1940), no com- 
mand provisions whatever were included. 

The War Department General Staff, in reviewing the plan in November 
1940, felt that the lack of provisions as to organization and command should 
be corrected, since the task of co-ordinating the five separate forces involved 
(two armies, two navies, and one air force) by mutual co-operation would 
present "a most difficult problem." The War Plans Division proposed that 
the Maritime Provinces, Newfoundland, and British Columbia be included 
as sectors of the U.S. North Atlantic and Pacific Coastal Frontiers. The sec- 
tors would remain under Canadian tactical command except that the United 
States would assume command in the Maritime Provinces or Newfoundland 
sectors when its forces in either had reached certain levels that would make 
them preponderant. 4 

There were several other requirements for command and co-ordination 
arrangements for which the 1940 Plan failed to provide: 

a. Co-ordination of the U.S. and Canadian garrisons in Newfoundland 
and of their overlapping responsibilities. 

b. Establishment of a unified defense command in the Strait of Juan de 
Fuca area, where the boundary divided into two parts, and thereby weakened, 
a defense that was militarily a single entity. 

c. Co-ordinated direction of forces on adjacent sides of the boundaries 
in other border areas. 

d. Some means of over-all direction or co-ordination of the multiplicity 
of commands involved in the defense of northern North America. 

With the establishment of the U.S. Army defense commands in 1941, the 
principal commanders whose co-operation and co-ordination were required 
were as follows: 5 

Canada United States 

East Coast 

Commodore Commanding Newfoundland Commander in Chief, United States Atlan- 
Force (Royal Canadian Navy) tic Fleet (U.S. Navy) 

Commanding Officer, Atlantic Coast Task Force Commander, United States 
(Royal Canadian Navy) Atlantic Fleet (U.S. Navy) 

' Memo, SUSAM for CofS, 7 Sep 40, approved by the Chief of Staff 9 Sep 40, WPD 4330-4. 
4 Memo, WPD for SUSAM, 9 Nov 40, WPD 4330-5. 

' The commanders are listed in ABC-22, reproduced in Pearl Harbor Attack, Pt. 15, p. 1588. 



Canada United States 

East Coast 

Air Officer Commanding, Eastern Air Commander, North Atlantic Naval Coastal 

Command (Royal Canadian Air Force) Frontier (U.S. Navy) 

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Commanding General, Northeast Defense 
Atlantic Command (Canadian Army) Command (and the subordinate New- 

foundland Base Command) (U.S. Army) 
Commanding General, General Head- 
quarters (U.S. Army) 

West Coast 

Commanding Officer, Pacific Coast (Royal Commander in Chief, United States Pacific 

Canadian Navy) Fleet (U.S. Navy) 

Air Officer Commanding, Western Air Task Force Commander, United States 

Command (Royal Canadian Air Force) Pacific Fleet (U.S. Navy) 

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Commander, Pacific Northern Naval 
Pacific Command (Canadian Army) Coastal Frontier (U.S. Navy) 

Commanding General, Western Defense 
Command (and the subordinate Alaska 
Defense Command) (U.S. Army) 

In the conversations between United Kingdom and U.S. service repre- 
sentatives in early 1941, it was agreed that in any given area unified direction 
of all forces should be exercised by whichever of the two countries was as- 
signed responsibility for the area. This agreement was not intended to prej- 
udice such arrangements as Canada and the United States might make in 
their joint plans, but it undoubtedly strengthened the U.S. resolve to press 
for what it considered a sound military solution of the command question. 

When joint planning with Canada was resumed in March 1941, the U.S. 
service members of the Permanent Joint Board incorporated the U.S. views 
on command and organization in a draft U.S.-Canadian joint defense plan 
for ground and air operations. 6 The provisions of the plan called for the 
addition to the U.S. Northeast and Western Defense Commands of three 
sectors, comprising the Maritime Provinces, Newfoundland, and British 
Columbia. United States officers were to control the defense commands and 
the U.S. sectors thereof. The three sectors to be added would be commanded 
by Canadian officers, and command of the Newfoundland sector would pass 
to the United States when prescribed levels had been reached by U.S. forces. 
Liaison between the two countries in regard to the strategic direction of the 
two defense commands would be effected through military missions to be 
exchanged between Ottawa and Washington. 

In their first counterproposal, of 14 April, the Canadian planners pro- 
posed that instead of control by defense commanders, the strategic direction 

6 Prepared in WPD and forwarded to SUSAM by Memo, 20 Mar 41, PDB 133. 



of the sectors be vested jointly in the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, and the Ca- 
nadian Chiefs of the General and Air Staffs. This direction would be exer- 
cised through the missions to be exchanged. 7 

The following day, 15 April, the service planners of the two countries 
met and produced a "Montreal Revise" of the Canadian draft. The agreed 
revision contained the following changes: 

a. Responsibility for strategic direction of the three sectors was to be 
vested in the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, who would be required to consult 
with the Canadian chief of staff concerned before issuing a directive affecting 
the Canadian forces. 

b. Canada would retain command of the Newfoundland sector regard- 
less of the strength of U.S. forces stationed there. 8 

The revised draft appeared to satisfy U.S. desires and to give the Canadians 
the military mission in Washington which they sought. Within a week of 
the planners' agreement on the draft, the Canadian Chiefs of the General and 
the Air Staffs approved it, subject to minor additions. 9 But the command 
debate, to all appearances settled, was soon to become more active than ever. 

During the Permanent Joint Board meeting on 16-17 April, immediately 
after the service members had reached agreement on the Montreal Revise, 
progress made in planning had been discussed. The command arrangements 
of the plan, even though they were to be approved a few days later by the 
Canadian Chiefs of the General and the Air Staffs, had been considered un- 
satisfactory by Mr. Biggar, the Canadian chairman. Subsequently, in 'a letter 
of 29 April to Mr. LaGuardia detailing his views, he objected to the uncer- 
tainty as to (a) the scope of the strategic direction to be exercised by the 
Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, and (b) the character of the prior consultation. 
He transmitted at the same time a draft report embodying his views and pro- 
posed that, after it had been refined, the Permanent Joint Board submit it to 
the two governments for approval as its Second Report. 10 From the U.S. 
point of view, his proposals represented a step backward, for they not only 
failed to provide some means of higher strategic co-ordination but also de- 
finitively assigned the defense responsibility for Newfoundland to Canada. 

LaGuardia replied that he would have the proposals studied but that he 
feared, frankly, they were "getting dangerously apart." The War Depart- 
ment General Staff, after studying the proposals, found them unacceptable 
and recommended that the United States stand firm on the agreed Montreal 

7 Draft Plan, PDB 133. 

8 Montreal Revise, PDB 133. 

9 Ltr, Pope to Bissell, 21 Apr 41, WPD 4330-24. 

10 Ltr, 29 Apr 41, WPD 4330-25. 


Revise. LaGuardia then addressed the President on 7 May, outlining rhe 
problem. He cited the command principle that had been accepted in ABC-1 
and stated his "personal conviction that rhe situation . . . [had] been created 
for political reasons" as a result of discussions in the Cabinet War Commit- 
tee. The U.S. chairman recommended that the President personally lay be- 
fore Prime Minister King the need for vesting strategic direction in the 
United States. 11 

After an exchange of memorandums with rhe Secretaries of War and the 
Navy, the President advised LaGuardia that he agreed with his position and 
suggested that he outline the matter of responsibility to the Canadians along 
the following lines: 

a. Although not a belligerent, the United States was virtually ready to 
undertake the defense of eastern Canada and Newfoundland. 

b. Canada had neither rhe men or the materiel for this task except as a 
participant on a smaller scale than the United States. 

c. The Canadian war effort was designed primarily to send men and 
materials overseas. 

d. Since the defensive efforr would fall nine- tenths to the United States, 

LaGuardia, in turn, informed the Canadian chairman that the U.S. Govern- 
ment completely supported the U.S. chairman's insistence on the need for 
U.S. strategic control and proposed an early Board meeting to resolve the 

At this point the air began to clear, and Mr. Biggar replied to Mr. La- 
Guardia by recounring a parable of how rwo good-natured superintendent 
employed by touchy owners of two farms of disproportionate sizes and re- 
sources worked out means of joint supervision of an attack on a common 
problem. 1 * At the 28-29 May Permanent Joint Board meeting the "good- 
natured superintendents" and their assistants discussed, during three half-day 
sessions, the preparation of a new plan and command relationships under it. 
A terse twelve-line Journal of Discussions and Decisions covered all three 
sessions and merely reported that "as no mutually acceptable solution of the 
problem of command relationships was found after a full discussion of this 
subject, it was agreed that it would be desirable for the question of command 

"Ltr. 2 May 41; Memo, WPD for SUSAM, 7 May 4l; Ltr. 7 May 41; all at PDB 135-3. 
The last letter does not state the basis of LaGuardia 's conviction. 

11 Memos, 14, 15, and 16 May 41, PDB 135-3. The memorandum dated 14 May to the 
Secretaries of War and the Navy is reproduced in Elliott Roosevelt (ed.). F. D. R,, His Personal 
Utters, 1928-1945 (New York; Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1 [ J50), II, 1155-56. The four-pomt 
answer had been suggested f>y the President to the Secretaries of War and the Navy and was 
endorsed verbatim by them in their teplv. 

"Ltr, 21 May 41, PDB 135-3. 



relationship under Plan No. 2 to be considered on the basis of command by 
co-operation. 14 

Although the action is not recorded in the journal, the Permanent Joint 
Board apparently approved, at least in part, a draft Second Report on the 
subject of command arrangements. 15 This draft, as had Biggar's, differenti- 
ated between the command requirements for the 1940 Plan (premised on 
British collapse) and for Plan 2 (ABC-22, which assumed U.S. entry into 
the war alongside the United Kingdom). 16 In regard to the 1940 Plan, the 
draft report provided for strategic direction by the United States, with full 
consultation between the two governments on matters of joint war policy 
and with Canadian representation on the agency that might be created for 
that purpose. Several drafts were proposed for the portion of the report that 
concerned Plan 2, as were amendments to the portion of the draft that had 
been tentatively approved. Although the report was never completed and 
command arrangements for Plan 2 (ABC-22) were eventually embodied in 
the plan itself, the agreed portion of the draft Second Report, which covered 
command arrangements for the 1940 Plan, apparently continued tacitly to be 
accepted by the Permanent Joint Board as a valid agreement. 17 

Soon after the 28-29 May 1941 Board meeting, a draft of ABC-22 was 
agreed upon at staff level. The plan, as subsequently approved, included 
the following command arrangements: 

a. Assignment to the forces of each country of tasks that lent them- 
selves to execution by the forces of a single country. 

b. Co-ordination of military effort by mutual co-operation, with each 
country retaining strategic direction and command of its own forces. 

c. Establishment of unified commands where required, upon agreement 
by the chiefs of staff concerned or upon agreement by local commanders 
and confirmation by the chiefs of staff. 

d. Exchange of liaison officers between commanders at the various 

The War Department accepted these arrangements reluctantly, since it 
continued to believe that command by co-operation was inadequate and in- 
effective. In recommending approval to the Chief of Staff, the War Plans 
Division stated: "Considering the difficulties the United States representa- 
tives experienced in arriving at an agreement with the Canadian representa- 

14 Journal, PDB 124. 

15 Ltr, Pope to Keenleyside, 9 Jun 41, PDB 135-3, refers to "that portion of the draft 2nd 
Report o f the Boa rd which was agreed to at its meeting in Washington on the 29th May." 

l6 See |Ch. IV] above. Copy of draft is filed at PDB 135-3. 

17 Memo, SUSAM for CofS, 1 Jun 42, PDB 135-2, reports that, if the 1940 Plan became 
effective, unity of command would be exercised by the United States. 



tives . . . [the plan is] the best that could be evolved . . . [and] should 
be accepted." 18 

Local Command Arrangements 

Although Washington and Ottawa during the latter half of 1941 were of 
necessity reconciled to the "co-ordination by mutual co-operation" concept 
of ABC-22, the question of unity of command continued to plague com- 
manders in the field. The problem was probably most complicated in New- 
foundland, where forces of both Canada and the United States were disposed. 
Plan ABC-22 had charged both garrisons with the same responsibility— to 
defend Newfoundland in co-operation with the other country's forces. But 
the United States, in line with the allocation of initial responsibility for Joint 
Task Two (the defense of Newfoundland) in the 1940 Plan, had yielded 
the over-all responsibility for Newfoundland defense to Canada. Five com- 
mands were involved in the local defense problem: the U.S. Newfoundland 
Base Command (Army and Air); U.S. Navy Task Force 4, Argentia; Royal 
Canadian Navy Newfoundland Force; Canadian Army Force, Newfoundland; 
and Royal Canadian Air Force No. 1 Group. The mission actually assigned 
to the U. S. Newfoundland base commander charged him with (a) the de- 
fense of only the U.S. military installations there, and (b) co-operating with 
Canadian forces in the defense of Newfoundland. 19 Although this mission 
in theory separated defense responsibilities, an actual attack on the island 
would probably have found the five commands attempting, in the same gen- 
eral area, to counter the enemy through the same types of operations. Lack 
of co-ordinated direction would have produced confusion, dissipation of re- 
sources, and hazard to the un-co-ordinated defenders. As a basic measure, 
the exchange of liaison officers between commands as provided for under 
ABC-22 was readily arranged, but little success was achieved in effecting, 
pursuant to that plan, local arrangements for unity of command. 

The harbor defense of St. John's was a narrowly local problem where 
divided responsibility existed as a result of U.S. installation of an 8-inch bat- 
tery after Canada had installed a 10-inch battery supplied by the United 
States. On 5 September 1941, the Canadian Army commander advised the 
U.S. Newfoundland base commander that he considered "divided responsi- 
bility in this matter unsound." He suggested, as a more satisfactory arrange- 
ment, transfer of the manning responsibility for the U.S. battery to the Cana- 
dian force. 20 When the United States did not respond to the suggestion, 
it was dropped. 

18 Memo, WPD for CofS, 14 Aug 41, PDB 135-2. 

19 1st Ind, TAG to GHQ, 13 Nov 41, PDB ni-6. 

20 PDB 103-12. 



Not long after Pearl Harbor, U.S. units stationed at Gander Airport com- 
plained about the unsatisfactory defense co-ordination there. Air units of 
both countries were stationed at the same base, yet no delineation of air 
defense responsibility had been possible, although urgently needed, particu- 
larly for the air warning services. 21 The U.S. Section of the Board found it 
necessary to reply that the situation could not be altered by action through 
the Permanent Joint Board, for Gander was a Canadian base and the defense 
responsibility was therefore Canadian. 

A new avenue for effecting co-ordination was opened shortly after Pearl 
Harbor when the Board agreed on its Twenty-second Recommendation. 22 
This recommendation, on the decentralization of functions to local com- 
manders, authorized the commanders named in Paragraph 12 of ABC-22 to 
work out "by mutual agreements any arrangements they deem necessary for 
the perfection of preparations for the common defense." The wording gave 
broad scope to the measures that might be taken under the aegis of this rec- 
ommendation.subject to the requirement—and this from the U.S. point of 
view was the fly in the ointment— that the local commanders involved 
mutually agree to the measures. 23 

With the United States unwilling to press for more satisfactory co-ordina- 
tion arrangements on higher levels, it remained for the operating echelons in 
Newfoundland to provide such co-ordination through co-operative measures 
insofar as application of the Twenty-second Recommendation would permit. 
Efforts were made through the drafting of joint defense plans, through estab- 
lishment of local joint defense committees and joint operations centers, and 
through the exchange of liaison officers. Local joint planning had been 
initiated as early as November 1941, when the U.S. commander drafted a 
Joint Defense Plan 1, Newfoundland. He later reported success in getting 
the support of all the commands involved, except for the RCAF command. 24 
In December the three Canadian commanders and the U.S. Newfoundland 
base commander, all stationed at St. John's, joined to form the Local Joint 
Defense Committee to review all existing plans and recommend changes, 
and to function under its senior member. Initially the senior member was 
the U.S. commander, Maj. Gen. Gerald C. Brant. 

Immediately after the establishment of the joint committee at St. John's, 
the Canadian Army member was replaced by Maj. Gen. L. F. Page, who was 
senior to General Brant by two weeks. He thus displaced the latter as senior 
member of the committee. This, in the opinion of the Newfoundland base 

21 Memo, GHQfor WPD, 26 Jan 42, WPD 4330-35. 
"Memo, for WPD, 7 Feb 42, WPD 4330-35. 
"Text at |Appendix At below. 
24 Informal Rpt, NBC, 1 Dec 41, PDB 104-5. 



commander, was the purpose of the Canadian move. 25 To the U.S. consul 
general at St. John's, it appeared that the move was part of Canadian policy 
to keep its political and military representatives ahead of the Americans in 
relative rank. In support of his thesis the consul general cited the earlier 
appointment of a Canadian high commissioner to St. John's and the promo- 
tion of the naval commander to a rank senior to that of the U.S. Navy sta- 
tion commander at Argentia. 26 

An atmosphere reflecting such U.S. suspicions was not improved by 
reported differences among the Canadian commanders involved. According 
to the U.S. Army commander, the RCAF commander was "non-co-operative" 
and barely on speaking terms with the Canadian Army commander and Brit- 
ish Air Ministry representatives at Gander Airport; very little co-operation 
between forces existed; bitter feeling was rampant; and the situation was far 
from satisfactory. 27 These differences were complicated further by the fact 
that the Canadian Army and RCAF commanders could not act without con- 
sulting their superior authorities, located outside Newfoundland. This re- 
quirement, coupled with a communications system whose inadequacy was 
compounded by meteorological and other failures, presented a serious barrier 
to the attainment of a high degree of operational effectiveness. 

Despite repeated urging from the U.S. Army commander that unity of 
command be arranged, the War Department declined to act, even after the 
Canadian chairman of the Permanent Joint Board had suggested that the 
United States renew its request for a unified command. Remembering the 
prolonged and unproductive discussions on the subject during the course of 
earlier U.S.-Canadian planning, the U.S. Section declined to raise the matter 
on the ground that such a U.S. proposal, in the absence of a substantially 
increased threat to Newfoundland, would be unsuccessful and only impair 
what co-operation existed. 28 

Some measure of unification of the Newfoundland commands was 

"Third Informal Rpt, CG NBC, 28 Dec 41, PDB 104-5. 

26 Rpt, 28 Feb 42, PDB 104-5. Dawson expresses a somewhat similar view in Canada in 
World Affairs: 1939-1941, p. 279. 

27 Ltr, CG NBC to DCofS Eastern Theater of Operations, 29 Oct 41, PDB 104-5. In his 
dealings with the Newfoundland Government, the U.S. commander found its members generally 
most co-operative and anxious to assist in the defense of the island. (Ltr, Maj Gen G. C. 
Brant (Ret.) to author, 12 Aug 52.) 

28 Memo, SUSAM for WPD, 28 Feb 42, PDB 135-2. This reluctance may have been moti- 
vated, in part, by the fact that the U.S. armed services' own house was not entirely in order. 
Although Army-Navy antisubmarine air operations from Newfoundland had earlier been unified 
under the U.S. Navy commander, the over-all Army-Navy wrangle on the subject of unity of 
command throughout the North American coastal frontiers with respect to operations for pro- 
tection of shipping was resolved for the time being on 26 March 1942 after several months of 



achieved in March 1942, apparently as a result of initiative on the part of the 
Newfoundland Government. In February 1942 it submitted to the Canadian 
and U.S. commanders in Newfoundland a proposal for the formation of a 
joint defense council to include representation of the Newfoundland Gov- 
ernment. At about the same time it expressed strong dissatisfaction to the 
Canadian Government with the existing method of co-ordinating command 
by co-operation and with the lack of unified command. 29 On 18 March 
Prime Minister King advised the Canadian House of Commons that, upon 
the recommendation of the Chiefs of Staff, the Cabinet War Committee had 
approved establishment of unified Canadian commands on the Atlantic and 
Pacific coasts, and in Newfoundland. 30 General Page was designated com- 
mander of the Canadian forces in Newfoundland and was charged with 
strategic direction of those forces. In each unified command, the operations 
rooms of the three services were to be combined into a joint operations 

Six days after this announcement, the Canadian Government transmitted 
to the United States, through the Board, extracts from the Newfoundland 
Government's demand for a unified command. The Canadian Government 
stated that it had invited Newfoundland authorities to attend the next Board 
meeting for a discussion of the problem. 31 The journals of the next meet- 
ing and of the succeeding meetings do not indicate that such discussions 
took place. Short of unification of the U.S. and Canadian commands, which 
Canada had vigorously opposed, the Canadian action went as far in the direc- 
tion of improving co-ordination as was possible. For reasons that are not 
clear, the Newfoundland Government apparently chose not to press for 
further action. 

By the end of 1942 co-ordination between the forces of the two countries 
in Newfoundland had improved considerably. The U.S. Newfoundland 
Base Command joined the new Canadian operations center at St. John's. 
The appropriate military authorities of the two countries, including the Cana- 
dian Chiefs of Staff, prepared and approved a Canadian-U.S. Joint Defense 
Plan, Newfoundland. Joint field exercises involving all the forces were held, 
as were command post and communications exercises for the staffs. On 1 
October 1942 the U.S. chairman of the Permanent Joint Board, Mr. 
LaGuardia, was able to report after a visit to Newfoundland that the com- 
mand arrangements were satisfactory but that this was so only because of 

"Extracts quoted in Ltr, Cdn Secy PJBD to U.S. Secy, 24 Mar 42, PDB 135-2. The date 
of the communication from the Newfoundland Government was not given. 
W H. C, Debates, 18 Mar 42, p. 1411. 
31 Ltr, 24 Mar 42, PDB 135-2. 



the excellent co-operation between the individuals involved (Generals Page 
and Brant). Should they be replaced, he felt that there might be danger to 
U.S. defense interests in Newfoundland." 

Whereas the United States after it entered the war did not feel impelled 
to force the issue of unity of command in Newfoundland, consideration of 
possible developments on the Pacific coast as a result of Pearl Harbor moti- 
vated such action in the command arrangements for British Columbia. 
Shortly after Pearl Harbor, the War Department urged President Roosevelt 
formally to propose to Prime Minister King that the defense of British 
Columbia be placed under U.S. strategic direction. The President preferred 
that initial overtures be made through other channels before he approached 
the Prime Minister." LaGuardia on 2 January 1942 then wrote to Mr. Big- 
gar, Canadian chairman of the Permanent Joint Board, proposing that British 
Columbia come under U.S. strategic direction in the interests of greater 
security and better integration of forces, particularly since the U.S. Western 
Defense Command was already responsible for the defense of Alaska and the 
western United States. 34 He proposed also that suitable limits be placed on 
the authority of the over-all commander in Canada. 

Biggar replied that the Canadian Section of the Board deemed such a 
recommendation to the Canadian Government inadvisable since under 
ABC-22 questions of the kind were now in the province of the Canadian 
Chiefs of Staff. Mr. Biggar's reply also hinted at renewed Canadian dissatis- 
faction with U.S. unwillingness to accept a Canadian staff mission in Wash- 
ington when he pointed out that lack of Canadian Chiefs of Staff representa- 
tion in Washington had made it more difficult for the Canadian Chiefs to 
weigh the question." In subsequent correspondence the Canadians expressed 
the view that the co-operation provisions of ABC-22 were adequate, and asked 
if there had been any evidence of lack of co-operation. They drew attention to 
the fact that the Canadian Chiefs of Staff had just conferred with the U.S. 
Chiefs of Staff and had gained the impression that the latter were satisfied 
with the present organization. Finally, and apparently in response to inti- 
mations of a request on the President-Prime Minister level, the Canadians 
pointed out that in a parliamentary government the Prime Minister would 
not be able to ignore the contrary advice of his war ministers. 36 

The U.S. Section of the Permanent Joint Board made a last effort to 

"Memo, LaGuardia for CG EDC, PDB 135-2. 

» Undated Memo, Hopkins for Marshall, PDB 135-2. 

,4 Ltr, LaGuardia to Biggar, 2 Jan 42, PDB 135-2. 

" Ltr, Biggar to LaGuardia, 3 J an 42, PDB 135-2. For the Canadian efforts to establish a 
military mission in Washington, see IChapter III| above. 
56 Correspondence in PDB 135-2. 



obtain the desired unity of command at the 20 January 1942 Board meeting. 
While it was willing to consider the U.S. proposal, the Canadian Section, 
being of the opinion that major land operations or invasion in British 
Columbia were unlikely, displayed no readiness to accept U.S. strategic direc- 
tion there. 37 No further efforts were made by the United States to obtain 
unity of command on the west coast. 

The United States had hardly stilled its requests for unity of command 
on the Pacific coast when that area was subjected to enemy attack. On 23 
February 1942 a Japanese submarine fired some twenty rounds at coastal 
targets near Santa Barbara, California. Two days later, on 25 February, the 
"Battle of Los Angeles" took place, in which some 1,440 rounds of antiair- 
craft ammunition were fired at apparently imaginary enemy aircraft. Alarm 
mounted among Pacific coast residents in both the United States and Canada. 

The mounting feeling was a factor in a Canadian Cabinet War Commit 
tee decision to establish Canadian unity of command over coastal defense 
forces. The Canadian Chiefs of Staff reluctantly recommended such a plan 
on 10 March 1942, despite their belief that co-ordination through the exist- 
ing Joint Service Committee was adequate. When Prime Minister King on 
18 March announced the establishment of unified Canadian commands on 
both coasts, Maj. Gen. R. O. Alexander became the Commander in Chief, 
West Coast Defenses. 

Throughout the war U.S. -Canadian operational co-ordination between 
the field commands on the Pacific coast was limited to the exchange of liaison 
officers. Such an exchange had been effected in April 1941, between the 
headquarters of the Canadian Army Pacific Command and the U.S. Army 
Ninth Corps Area, with officers serving on a part-time basis. In early March 
1942, on request of the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Pacific Com- 
mand, a permanent liaison officer was attached to his command from the 
headquarters of the U.S. Western Defense Command. 38 

Fortunately, the sporadic and insignificant Japanese attacks on the Pacific 
coast did not test the adequacy of either U.S.-Canadian co-ordination or intra- 
Canadian co-operation. Canadian steps to establish the latter were for many 
months hardly more successful than the U.S. efforts to establish unity of 
command in the field. Despite the Canadian Prime Minister's announce- 
ment of 18 March 1942 that a unified Canadian command was to be set up 
on the Pacific coast, it was more than a year before the joint service head- 

11 Journal, PDB 124. 

<" Ltr, CG WDC to Maj Gen R. O. Alexander, 1 1 Mar 42, cited in History of the Western 
Defense Command, I, Ch. 7, 1. 



quarters was actually established and even then its effectiveness seemed 
doubtful to U.S. observers because of un-co-operative service attitudes. 39 

During World War II only one unified command was established for 
Canadian and U.S. forces performing a joint task under ABC-22. This was 
for Joint Task One, the protection of overseas shipping. At the time ABC- 
22 was drafted in the spring of 1941, units of the British and Canadian 
Navies under the over-all direction of a United Kingdom Commander in 
Chief, Western Approaches, shared the convoy escort task in the North At- 
lantic. A few months later, in a reorganization effective on 13 June 1941, an 
independent Canadian command, Royal Canadian Navy Newfoundland 
Escort Force, was created with a semiautonomous responsibility for the escort 
task in the western North Atlantic, under the over-all strategic direction of 
the Royal Navy. 40 

In drafting ABC-1 early in 1941, the British and U.S. representatives had 
envisaged that the United States would, when that plan was placed in effect 
(presumably upon U.S. entry into the war), assume responsibility for control 
and protection of shipping in the western Atlantic except "the waters . . . 
in which Canada assumes responsibility for the strategic direction of Mili- 
tary forces, as may be defined in United States-Canada joint agreements." 41 

Subsequently the Canadian and U.S. planners in the joint plan ABC-22 
assigned to the United States responsibility for routing and protecting ship- 
ping in all western Atlantic waters except within the coastal zones of Canada 
and Newfoundland. Besides furnishing the necessary vessels in the coastal 
zones, Canada was to allocate five destroyers and fifteen corvettes to the U.S. 
Navy escort forces when the plan was put into effect. 

In extension of the ABC-1 and ABC-22 planning, representatives of the 
United Kingdom and Canadian Navies were stationed in the U.S. Navy De- 
partment in Washington in June 1941 for further planning and discussions. 
These representatives participated in discussions of Navy Hemisphere Defense 
Plan 3 (WPL-50) as it was completed, and reviewed drafts and commented 
on Navy Hemisphere Defense Plan 4 (WPL-51), which was promulgated 
on 11 July. 42 Other officers primarily concerned with convoy protection 
were exchanged between Ottawa and Washington, and they maintained close 

39 Intelligence Rpt, U.S. Navy Liaison Officer, Vancouver, 4 Aug 43, ONI Serial 8-43. The 
only World War II attack on the Canadian Pacific coast took place on 20 June 1942, when a 
Japanese submarine fired some twenty shells on Vancouver Island. The next night a submarine 
shelled Fort Stevens in Oregon. 

40 Schull, The Far Distant Ships, p. 65. 

41 For text of ABC-1, see Pearl Harbor Attack, Pt. 15, pp. 1485-1541. Annex V of ABC-1 
set forth the details of the arrangements for control and protection of shipping. 

42 Kittredge Monograph, I, Sec. V, 538-45. 



contact with each other and with their British counterparts in an intimate 
and cordial relationship. 

After the promulgation of WPL-51, discussions continued among the 
naval representatives as to its execution when it became effective. In con- 
sequence of the urgings of Prime Minister Churchill and others and of the 
need for better protection for U.S. shipping, WPL-51 was placed in effect 
on 26 July 1941, but only with respect to U.S. and Icelandic flag vessels ply- 
ing between North America and Iceland. United State Atlantic Fleet Task 
Force 1, established on 19 July, assumed this responsibility and was accorded 
the use of the Royal Canadian Navy bases at Shelburne and Halifax for serv- 
ice and repair. 43 

The Atlantic Conference between Roosevelt and Churchill and their staffs 
on 9-13 August 1941 led to a major change in the assignment of convoy 
responsibility in the western Atlantic. Churchill, Hopkins, and others im- 
pressed upon President Roosevelt the need for relieving the United King- 
dom of part of the burden of its naval responsibility in the western Atlantic. 
As a result, the two leaders, apparently without further reference to the Cana- 
dian Government, agreed that the United States would assume the entire 
convoy task for vessels of any flag by placing WPL-51 fully in effect, and 
that the Canadian forces involved would pass to U.S. Navy command. 44 
Although Canadian Government representatives did not participate in the 
conference, the plans were the outgrowth of the earlier Washington discus- 
sions among U.S., British, and Canadian naval staff officers. 45 

On 13 September 1941 the U.S. Navy Hemisphere Defense Plan 4 
(WPL-51) went into full effect. Before the end of September a broader 
plan, Navy Hemisphere Defense Plan 5 (WPL-52), had been promulgated, 
and under it the United States assumed command of North Atlantic convoy 
operations west of the 30° west meridian. 46 Seventy-five ships of the Royal 
Canadian Navy Newfoundland Command came under U.S. direction. Bitter 
feeling could have existed in the situation. After two years of active partici- 
pation as a belligerent in the Battle of the Atlantic, these Canadian units 

4) Ibid., 547-51; Pearl Harbor Attack, Pt. 5, p. 2294; U.S. Navy Atlantic Fleet, Administra- 
tive History of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet in World War II, II, 60, 64. For a fuller narrative ac- 
count of U.S. -Briti sh collaboration in the Battle of the Atlantic in the western Atlantic, see 
below, [Chapter 1X"1 This section is addressed primarily to the joint organizational and command 

44 Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War: The Grand Alliance (Boston: Houghton 
Mifflin Company, 1950), p. 441. 

45 Kittredge Monograph, I, Sec. V, 538-42. Canadian participation at the Atlantic Confer- 
ence was supplied by HMCS destroyers Restigouche and Assiniboine. These Canadian ships together 
with a United Kingdom destroyer escorted the Prince of Wales, which carried the United Kingdom 

"Kittredge Monograph, I, Sec. V, 553. 



passed to the command of an officer of a nominally nonbelligerent country. 
However, excellent relations existed and were further developed between the 
commanders and staffs of the commands involved— Task Force 1 of the U.S. 
Atlantic Fleet and Royal Canadian Navy Newfoundland Force. 4 ^ 

In the ensuing anomalous situation in which a commander of non- 
belligerent forces had authority over a commander of belligerent forces in a 
war situation, the former exercised caution and restraint in administering his 
command functions. On 13 September 1941, the Commander in Chief, U.S. 
Atlantic Fleet (CINCLANT), who was also Commander, Task Force 1, for- 
warded a personal letter to Commodore L. W. Murray of the Royal Cana- 
dian Navy, who had already received a copy of plan WPL-51. The Com- 
mander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, thought it inappropriate to forward a 
formal instruction to the Newfoundland Force or to include it in his operat- 
ing plan, and he hoped the draft instruction he had transmitted to Commo- 
dore Murray would be useful in effecting the necessary co-ordination between 
the two forces. Other operational matters were taken up in similar informal 
correspondence that followed. 48 

United States Navy Task Force 1 under Navy Hemisphere Defense Plan 
5 (WPL-52) became Task Force 4, with its own commander, Rear Adm. 
A. L. Bristol, to whom CINCLANT delegated "co-ordinating supervision of 
the operations of Canadian escort units." Admiral Bristol continued the 
practice of carrying on informal correspondence on operational matters, but 
he included the Royal Canadian Navy units in his operational plans. His 
Op-Plan 14-41 of 29 October 1941 included, as Task Group 4.11, the New- 
foundland Escort Force which, under Commodore Murray, provided escort 
services in the Canadian coastal zone, while Task Group 4.19 comprised the 
U.S. Navy and Royal Canadian Navy escort units on the ocean leg to the 
longitude of Iceland. 

The co-ordination of operations was facilitated by the exchange of liaison 
officers. A U.S. Navy observer was dispatched to Halifax in August 1941 as 
a result of prompt Canadian approval of the U.S. request for such an arrange- 
ment. Subsequently, as a result of world-wide U.S. -British Commonwealth 
naval liaison arrangements which were worked out, a U.S. Atlantic Fleet liai- 
son officer was stationed at St. John's in October 1941, while a Royal Cana- 
dian Navy officer joined the staff of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet Support Force in 
January 1942. 

Although the unified direction of the naval forces of the two countries 
under the U.S. Navy materialized simply and directly as a result of the con- 

47 Schull, The Far Distant Ships, pp. 96-97. 

48 Administrative History of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet in World War II, II, 78-82. 



ference at Argentia, the integration of the air forces available for the air patrol 
missions did not occur so easily. By November 1941 appropriate instruc- 
tions had been issued directing the U.S. Army Air Forces in Newfoundland 
to operate under the U.S. Navy in the execution of Joint Task One. 49 The 
U.S. Section of the Permanent Joint Board requested that similar instructions 
be issued to the RCAF forces available for patrol duty. 50 At the next Per- 
manent Joint Board meeting, in December, the Board members concluded 
that the problem arose from the lack of independent command authority of 
the RCAF unit in Newfoundland, No. 1 Group, which could not independ- 
ently and without reference to the Eastern Air Command headquarters at 
Halifax take immediate action to support the Atlantic Fleet task force when 
requested to do so. The Board therefore concluded that a decentralization 
of command was needed to permit local operational control and full co-op- 
eration. 51 The necessary decentralization was authorized by Canada, effec- 
tive 20 January 1942, and the U.S. Navy task force commander at Argentia 
finally achieved the unified operational control of all the air and naval 
resources of the two countries available for his task. 52 

After U.S. entry into the war, U.S. Navy strategic direction of the Cana- 
dian and United Kingdom forces assigned to Task Force 4 for the execution 
of Joint Task One continued, despite the fact that all the U.S. ships involved 
in escorting the merchant convoys were withdrawn except for two Coast 
Guard cutters. The withdrawals were necessary in order to permit reinforce- 
ment of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and to make available escorts for the increas- 
ing number of U.S. troop convoys to the United Kingdom. A reorganization 
effected in February 1942 continued strategic direction of the western North 
Atlantic under the U.S. Navy but met the situation partially through organ- 
ization of the British and Canadian ships involved into the Royal Canadian 
Navy-commanded Western Local Escort and the Newfoundland Escort Forces, 
which now provided the necessary escort forces for the trade convoys under the 
over-all command of U.S. Navy Task Force 4. 53 

United States strategic direction of an escort task being executed by forces 
predominantly Canadian and British continued until 1 March 1943, when the 
Atlantic Convoy Conference, meeting in Washington, reorganized the com- 
mand system. The United States withdrew its authority, except for over-all 
strategic responsibility, from the area north of a line east from New York 

49 U.S. Navy Progress Rpt, at 10-11 Nov 41 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 
,0 Ltr, U.S. Section to Biggar, 11 Nov 41, PDB 135-2. 

51 Journal, PDB 124. It was at this meeting that the Board made its Twenty-second 
Recommendation . 

"Journal, 20 Jan 42 meeting, PDB 124. 
"Schull, The Far Distant Ships, pp. 100-101. 



City and west of the 47° west meridian, and Canada took over the opera- 
tional responsibility for this area. 54 At this time Canada was also assigned 
operational control of the air elements being employed by the United States 
from Newfoundland for convoy protection and antisubmarine operations, 
although apparently no similar assignment was made of U.S. air units in the 
New England states. 55 

Thus materialized the only instance of unified command under ABC-22. 
It might never have been realized had not Roosevelt and Churchill acted 
with characteristic vigor and without consulting the Canadian Government. 
Undoubtedly, the fact that questions of sovereignty were not present, as was 
the case in land areas, allowed the arrangement to be accepted without seri- 
ous difficulty. That the task was executed efficiently is ample testimony to 
the excellent spirit of co-operation and good will that existed between the 
Canadian and U.S. Navies. 

Organization for the Logistical Tasks 

Whereas the major operational command and co-ordination problems 
arose early in the war and were soon disposed of, those connected with 
logistical tasks mushroomed rapidly after Pearl Harbor and continued to in- 
crease in 1942 and 1943. Their solution, one by one, resulted in a complex 
U.S. military organization whose existence, in turn, gave rise to additional 
problems. The mission of this organizational machinery was, briefly, to con- 
struct, operate, maintain, and service the installations, bases, and facilities 
needed by the United States in the conduct of the war overseas. Canada 
constructed certain of these facilities for U.S. account, but the United States 
provided the greater part of the facilities from U.S. resources. 56 

Throughout Canada the post-Pearl Harbor task of the U.S. Army took 
the form of providing the necessary facilities on wartime standards for use 
only for the duration of the war. This was not the case in Newfoundland, 
where the status of the forces engaged in the logistical task differed as 
a result of the destroyer-bases agreement signed with the United Kingdom 
on 2 September 1940, long before Pearl Harbor, and the ninety-nine-year 
lease which made permanent-type construction desirable. 

In Newfoundland, the U.S. Army organization for administration, except 
for construction and associated real estate matters, was parallel to that for 
operations. The Commanding General, Newfoundland Ba*se Command, ap- 

54 Ibid., pp. 166-67. An account of the Atlantic Convoy Conference is given in |Chapter 

55 Canada at War, No. 24 (May 43), pp. 3-4. 

56 See below, pp. 000-00, for discussion of Canada's method of co-ordinating the construc- 
tion of facilities for use by the United States. 



pointed in December 1940, was initially directly subordinate to the War 
Department; after July 1941 he was subordinate to General Headquarters, 
U.S. Army, at Washington; and after December 1941 to Headquarters, East- 
ern Theater of Operations, in New York City. In Newfoundland, the base 
commander exercised command through his own staff at St. John's and 
through the commanders of the U.S. Army leased bases, Forts Pepperrell and 
McAndrew, and Harmon Field. 

Since in the U.S. Army the Corps of Engineers had generally been respon- 
sible for construction activities overseas, the construction operations in New- 
foundland were handled through a different chain of command. This 
passed from the War Department to the Chief of Engineers (through- the 
Commanding General, Services of Supply, after the reorganization of the 
War Department in March 1942), to the North Atlantic Division Engineer 
at New York, and finally to the Newfoundland District Engineer at St. 
John's, who directed and supervised the contractors engaged for the construc- 
tion projects. An additional subordinate district of the North Atlantic 
Division, the Hudson Engineer District, was established on 19 December 
1942 to carry out CRIMSON program construction in eastern Canada. 57 

A roughly parallel situation existed in the U.S. Navy establishment at 
Argentia. The operational Navy air and sea forces based there were under 
the command of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. The naval 
base itself operated under the Commander, North Atlantic Coastal Frontier, 
while the U.S. Navy Department Bureau of Yards and Docks directed the 
base construction activities. 

The U.S. logistical organization in western Canada began with the estab- 
lishment in March 1942 of a Headquarters, U.S. Army Construction Forces 
for the Alcan Highway, which operated through two subordinate head- 
quarters at Fort St. John and Whitehorse established soon afterward. In the 
latter part of May these two headquarters were made independent and desig- 
nated the Northern and Southern Sectors, with each commander reporting 
directly to the U.S. Army Chief of Engineers in Washington. Soon after, 
when work was begun on the Canol Project, its commander, who established 
the headquarters of his Task Force 2600 at Edmonton on 26 May, became a 
third commander in Canada directly subordinate to the Chief of Engineers. 

In March, shortly after initial steps were taken for the construction of the 
Alcan Highway (later designated the Alaska Highway), the Chief of Engi- 
neers enlisted the assistance of the U.S. Public Roads Administration, which 
undertook to handle the engineering, contracting, and supervision of parts of 

57 OCE GO 52, 19 Dec 42. 



the highway. The Public Roads Administration established a district office 
in Edmonton, which also reported to Washington. 

As the approaching completion of the pioneer road in late 1942 foretold 
the need for expansion of the U.S. logistical establishment in northwest 
Canada, steps were taken to reorganize the commands. A Headquarters, 
Northwest Service Command, under Col. James A. O'Connor, was estab- 
lished on 10 September 1942 at Whitehorse, subordinate to Headquarters, 
Services of Supply, at Washington. This service command was made re- 
sponsible for U.S. supply, service, and administrative operations, including 
support of the Army Air Forces, but excluding construction, maintenance, 
and repair, in that part of Canada comprising British Columbia, Alberta, 
Yukon Territory, and the Mackenzie District of the Northwest Territories, 
and in parts of Alaska. Construction, maintenance, and repair of facilities 
(including both the Alaska Highway and the Canol Project) remained the 
responsibility of the Chief of Engineers through a new Northwest Engineer 
Division under Col. Theodore Wyman, Jr., established on 14 November 
1942 at Edmonton. 58 

These two major U.S. commands exercised their functions independently, 
but co-operatively, through separate organizations. Northwest Service Com- 
mand operated through the posts of Edmonton, Dawson Creek, Whitehorse, 
and Skagway. The Northwest Division Engineer operated through the Dis- 
trict Engineers of the Whitehorse, Fairbanks, Skagway, Dawson Creek, and 
Edmonton Districts. 

On 18 February 1944 the two organizations were consolidated as the 
Northwest Service Command, with headquarters at Edmonton, under Brig. 
Gen. Ludson D. Worsham, who had been the Division Engineer. The post 
organization of the Northwest Service Command was dropped in favor of a 
district organization comprising the Fairbanks, Skagway, Whitehorse, Daw- 
son Creek, and Edmonton Districts. The logistical organization in north- 
west Canada retained this form until the end of hostilities. Its functions 
included the operations of U.S. supply, transportation, medical, communica- 
tions, and other administrative facilities in the area, with the major tasks 
including several construction projects, and the operation of the Alaska High- 
way, the White Pass and Yukon Route railway, and the Canol Project. 

In addition to the U.S. Army organizations established in Newfoundland 
and northwestern Canada, a third organizational structure was developed in 
Canada east of the 103° west meridian and in Labrador. This structure was 
created after the two governments approved the Permanent Joint Board's 

58 WD GO 44, 4 Sep 42; OCE GO 42, 14 Nov 42. 

a plane for an inspection flight over the southern section of the Alaska Highway, 1942. 



Twenty-sixth Recommendation, which called for the construction of air bases 
and auxiliary facilities to provide routes suitable for ferrying short-range air- 
craft from the United States across Canada to Greenland and thence to the 
United Kingdom. The Canadian Government approved the Twenty-sixth 
Recommendation on 12 June 1942, and five days later Brig. Gen. Harold 
L. George of the U.S. Air Corps Ferrying Command was appointed officer 
in general charge of the project, which was named the Crimson Project. 59 
General George's over-all responsibility, which was exercised from Washing- 
ton, did not displace any part of the normal command structure that had 
gradually developed. The initial garrisons arrived at Churchill, Manitoba, 
between 15 and 26 July 1942, and as a result of a directive issued on 27 July 
a Headquarters, Crimson Project, was established subordinate to the War 
Department. 60 

In Canada the commander of the Crimson Project, Col. G. K. Hobbs, 
who was also the commander of the 330th Engineer Regiment which was to 
initiate the construction work, was made responsible, for construction opera- 
tions, directly to the Chief of Engineers in the War Department. The initial 
organization was further complicated somewhat since the new command did 
not perform its own supply functions. For these functions, two U.S. Army 
field logistical agencies had occasion to operate in Canada and Labrador— 
the Sixth Service Command for the supply of the installations at The Pas, 
Churchill, and Southampton Island; and the Boston Port of Embarkation for 
the supply of those at Fort Chimo, Frobisher Bay, Padloping Island, and at 
Goose Bay in Labrador. 61 

As plans were developed for the displacement of the Engineer troops 
engaged in the construction of bases by civilian contractors and workers, 
the Division Engineer of the North Atlantic Division (with division offices 
located in New York City) of the Corps of Engineers was made responsible 
for all engineer and construction operations under the Crimson Project. 
This responsibility he exercised through a District Engineer, Hudson District. 
Under this assignment of responsibilities, the project commander retained 
responsibility for the administration and operation of the military garrisons 
at these stations. 

The command of the bases in Labrador, Quebec, and on Baffin Island 
from the project headquarters at Churchill proved to be geographically un- 
suitable in terms of control and communications. The pattern of available 

"Ott Leg Desp 3198, 22 Jun 42, PDB 149-1. 

60 TAG Ltr 320.2, 27 Jul 42, sub: Command, Supply and Administration, Crimson Project. 

61 TAG Ltr 320.2, 2 Aug 42, sub: Amendment No. 1 to Command, Supply and Administra- 
tion, Crimson Project. 



communications had already dictated a split of the supply responsibilities 
between the eastern and western halves of the project. On 9 March 1943 
the Crimson Project was divided by the 80° west meridian into Western 
and Eastern Sectors, with headquarters for the latter at Goose Bay. The 
Eastern Sector headquarters joined the Churchill headquarters in becoming 
directly responsible to the War Department. The engineer construction and 
the supply responsibilities remained as before. 62 

The organizational pattern in the Western Sector, Crimson Project, did 
not subsequently undergo significant change. On 1 July 1943 the command 
was redesignated the U.S. Army Forces in Central Canada, and soon after- 
ward the headquarters location was moved to Winnipeg, where it remained 
until the command's inactivation on 1 October 1945. 63 

The 1 July 1943 reorganization, which reflected the general drastic cur* 
tailment of Crimson Project, included a disbandment of the Headquarters, 
Eastern Sector, Crimson Project, and the interim transfer of the responsibili- 
ties for the installations in that area to the Commanding General, North 
Atlantic Wing, Air Transport Command, with headquarters at Presque Isle, 
Maine. This commander, who was normally responsible, in turn, to the 
Commanding Generals, Air Transport Command, and Army Air Forces, for 
his air transport functions, became directly responsible to the War Depart- 
ment for the administration of these installations. A Headquarters, U.S. 
Army Forces in Eastern Canada, was soon activated at Presque Isle and 
existed for a few months, until 15 October 1944. On that date its respon- 
sibilities were transferred back to what had now been redesignated the Head- 
quarters, North Atlantic Division, Air Transport Command. This arrange- 
ment remained unchanged throughout the rest of World War II. 64 

Organizational Chaos 

The main elements of the U.S. logistical and administrative organization 
in Canada and Newfoundland as of 1 April 1943 are shown in |Chart lj This 
chart reveals the considerable number of separate agencies in Washington and 
elsewhere in the United States to which the numerous U.S. headquarters in 
Canada and Newfoundland reported for various purposes. The lack of any 
focal point through which all communications, or perhaps even all respon- 
sibility, might have been channeled inevitably made it more difficult for the 
host governments to effect co-ordination with the United States on matters 
of common interest. Many problems concerning channels of communica- 

62 TAG Ltr 320.2, 9 Nov 43, sub: Command, Supply and Administrative Order, NAF Projects. 
6 > TAG Ltrs 322, 25 Jun 43 and 5 Jul 43, sub: Modification of the Crimson Project. 
64 Air Transport Command, The Crimson Route, p. 56. 

X 2Z 



, "* 
a w> 
5 ~ 

S 1 



> ? 

i i 


H g 

< * 

Q (J 

g H 






i. s S 

« u I 

o o - 



i » .= 
t: i » 

£ N LU 

01 P C 

l -. i 



tions and field co-ordination of activities arose and required solution. The 
situation would have been sufficiently complex if the organization presented 
in |Chart 1 1 told the entire story. This is far from so. In addition to the 
main agencies shown thereon, many other command and staff agencies had 
occasion to operate in Canada and Newfoundland and/or to maintain offices 
there. In northwest Canada, some of these were the Alaskan Wing, Air 
Transport Command, U.S. Army Air Forces; Naval Air Transport Service, 
U.S. Navy; U.S. Army Air Forces contract carriers for Air Transport Com- 
mand, which included United Airlines, Pan American Airlines, and Western 
Airlines; Army Air Forces aerial photography mission; Army Air Forces 16th 
Weather Region (meteorological services); Army Airways Communications 
Service; Alaska Communications System; Prince Rupert Subport of Embarka- 
tion; Quartermaster Market Center and Transportation Corps Regulating 
Station at Edmonton; and a large number of U.S. civilian contractors on U.S. 
projects, some of whom established substantial offices in Canada. 65 

Most of these agencies had additional channels of command and com- 
munication to other headquarters in the United States. The situation was 
most complex in northwest Canada, where the major U.S. projects were un- 
dertaken. Here, too, American personnel, civilian and military, were intro- 
duced in far greater numbers and were necessarily stationed in many instances 
in populated localities. The situation also existed on a smaller scale in the 
rest of Canada and in Newfoundland. The North Atlantic Wing, Air Trans- 
port Command, operated at air-base facilities in those areas in providing air 
transport services independently of the Newfoundland Base Command, and 
was supported by appropriate elements of the AAF communications and 
meteorological services. In central and eastern Canada, facilities at Montreal 
and Quebec were used as subports by the Boston Port of Embarkation, and 
an ordnance testing center was established at Camp Shilo by the U.S. Army 
Or dnance D epartment- 

Chart l| and the foregoing additional listings of operating agencies still 

do not present the full complexity of the American organizational structure 
in Newfoundland and Canada, or of the patterns of its command and com- 
munications channels. Many other agencies of the War Department, al- 
though not having a directly subordinate operating agency in those areas, 
had a responsibility for the technical staff supervision of certain operations 
there. For example, the Chief Signal Officer of the War Department had 

m The references in Air Transport Command historical monographs to the lack of co-ordina- 
tion among the extremely numerous agencies m northwest Canada include the following: Alaskan 
Division, Historical Record Report, II, 198; History of the Northwest Air Route to Alaska: 
1942-1945, p. 83; The Northwest Route Under the Ferrying Division: 16 June 1942-1 November 
1942, p 49. 



responsibility for the technical supervision of the Alaska Communications 
System. The execution of this type of staff responsibility necessitated some 
supervisory and operating activity in Canada and Newfoundland by personnel 
of his staff, and likewise by numerous other U.S. staff agencies on similar 

The problems of co-ordination and of channels of communications took 
several forms: 

a. Clearing U.S. requests for construction permits and real estate. 

b. Co-ordinating Canadian construction on U.S. account to meet U.S. 
requirements and standards. 

c. Co-ordinating U.S. construction on U.S. account to meet conditions 
and criteria established by Canadian authorities. 

d. Co-ordinating competing requirements for the use of construction 
and transportation facilities, and for labor and materials resources. 

e. Co-ordinating disciplinary and other administrative problems arising 
from the large numbers of American military and civilian personnel stationed 
in Canada. 

On the Canadian side, arrangements for channels of communications and 
co-ordination were less complex but still involved. A half dozen or more 
departments of the government in Ottawa, and their field agencies, were con- 
cerned with the execution of the construction projects, with their use or 
arrangements therefor, or with the auxiliary administrative problems that 
arose. The last category of problems, on matters such as taxes, jurisdiction 
over and discipline of American personnel, and labor competition and condi- 
tions, also concerned in many instances the provincial and local governments. 

The situation was not improved by the considerable number of parallel 
channels of communication that existed between Washington and Ottawa. 
A reasonable system of mutual co-ordination operated for certain of these 
channels, particularly those involving the Permanent Joint Board members. 
Nevertheless, this multiplicity of channels could not help but make more 
difficult the co-ordination of matters involving Canada and the United 
States. 66 Many ad hoc channels were established, principally between the 
War Department and the departments in Ottawa, which supplemented the 
more normal and routine channels that existed throughout the war. The 
principal routine channels were between: 

66 Of the wartime members of the U.S. Section of the Permanent Joint Board who reviewed 
this study, two commented on this point, agreeing that such a problem existed. One felt its 
magnitude had been overdrawn, while the other averred that it was "one of the most vexatious 
problems" of U.S. -Canadian collaboration. (Ltr, Maj Gen G. V. Henry (Ret.) to author, 2 
Jan 52; Ltr, Rear Adm J. P. Whitney to author, 10 Nov 52.) 



a. Washington War and Navy Department agencies and Ottawa serv- 
ice agencies through the service attaches in Ottawa. 

b. The same agencies through the service attaches in Washington. 

c. The same agencies through the Canadian Joint Staff in Washington. 

d. The pairs of opposite numbers of the Permanent Joint Board sec- 
tions, that is, the chairmen, the secretaries, and the Army, Navy, and Air 

e. The Department of State and the Department of External Affairs 
through the Canadian Legation (later Embassy) in Washington. 

f. The same agencies through the U.S. Legation in Ottawa. 

The questions of co-ordination and command channels first came up for 
discussion immediately after the initiation of work on the Alaska Highway 
and as a consequence of the resulting increase of U.S. agencies in Canada. 
At the beginning of April 1942, J. A. Wilson of the Canadian Department 
of Transport discussed with U.S. Minister Moffat the need for centralized 
control of U.S. operations. Wilson felt that "the utmost good will . . . 
[was] being shown, but difficulties . . . were bound to crop up and multi- 
ply." He suggested that one of the U.S. service attaches in Ottawa "act as 
co-ordinator and contact man with the Canadians." 67 Two months later 
the situation was still unsatisfactory, and the Canadian Government ap- 
pointed C. D. LeCapelain of the Department of Mines and Resources as liai- 
son officer with the U.S. Army forces constructing the Alaska Highway. 68 
By the spring of 1943 the Canadian Government had expanded this liaison 
arrangement to include four officers: 69 

a. C. D. LeCapelain at Whitehorse, for the Alaska Highway and other 
projects in the vicinity. 

b. J. S. Stewart, for the Canol Project. 

c. Mr. Urquhart, the district agent at Fort Smith, for projects in that 

d. L. E. Drummond, with the Northwest Division Engineer at 

In the meantime, the Canadian Government complemented this field liai- 
son arrangement by establishing in Ottawa a panel charged with collecting 
and presenting to the Cabinet War Committee periodic progress reports on 
the projects under construction. Mr. J. Baldwin of the Privy Council office 
acted as secretary and as a center for distributing information within Cana- 

67 Ltr, U.S. Secy PJBD to SUSAM, 3 Apr 42, PDB 105-3. 

68 Ltr, U.S. Leg Ott to Hickerson, 2 Jun 42, D/S 842.154 Seattle-Fairbanks Highway /409. 
69 Ltr, Moffat to Hickerson, 22 Jan 43, D/S 811.24542/B. 



dian Government circles in Ottawa. At that time Canadian responsibilities 
for the various projects were assigned as follows: 70 

Project Canadian Agency 

North Atlantic Ferry Routes Department of National Defense for Air 

Alcan Highway Department of Mines and Resources 

Canol Project Northwest Territories Council 

Alaska railway survey Department of Transport 

Aerial mapping project Department of Mines and Resources 

Weather and communications stations . . Department of Transport 

By the spring of 1943 the Canadian liaison system was not fulfilling its 
purpose because the "frequent changes in . . . personnel and fields of re- 
sponsibility . . . [of the] four or five United States authorities . . . operating 
in the Northwest . . . [made it] increasingly difficult to distinguish the 
actual sources of authority in the United States organizational setup." The 
Department of External Affairs requested that it be furnished a chart show- 
ing the organization and the various responsibilities and lines of authority 
for U.S. activities in Canada. 71 

The request, its handling by the United States, and the data furnished the 
Canadians in reply involved a confusion within the U.S. Government that 
illustrates the over-all complexity and lack of understanding of the situation. 
Mr. Hickerson, secretary of the U.S. Section, Permanent Joint Board, referred 
the request to the Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Army construction agency. 
This agency was concerned with only part of the U.S. activities in northwest- 
ern Canada and was two staff levels below the War Department General 
Staff, which should have been called upon for an over-all presentation of the 
U.S. organization. As a result, the reply to the Canadian request constituted 
an exposition, during meetings in Ottawa 17-18 May, of authorization and 
construction procedures for "Corps of Engineers Construction Division 
Activities in Canada." Only indirectly during the exposition did the Cana- 
dians learn anything of the responsibilities and organization of the Air Trans- 
port Command, Northwest Service Command, and other U.S. agencies 
operating in the area. 

Concurrently, the Canadian Government took several steps designed to 
resolve certain of the problems of co-ordination that existed. The first of 
these was the establishment on 19 February 1943 of a crown company, North 
West Purchasing Limited, whose object was to facilitate the acquisition of 
supplies in Canada by the various U.S. agencies there in such a manner as 

70 Oct Le&Desp 3198, 22 Jun 42, PDB 149-1. 

71 Ltr, Hickerson to Maj Gen Thomas M. Robins, OCE, 21 Apr 43, PDB 111-12. 



to minimize interference with Canadian price controls and controlled mate- 
rials measures. Initially, U.S. Army procurement officers and contractors 
avoided the use of the new crown company because of their conviction, to 
some extent fostered by local merchants, that the company was merely a 
profit-making organization for the Canadian Government. 72 With the reali- 
zation that the failure fully to utilize the company was costing the United 
States considerable sums of money, and, after other demonstrations of the 
value of the company's services, the antagonism to it disappeared. By 
August 1943 U.S. procurement regulations required that all supply contracts 
be made with the company. 73 

During the early weeks of the company's life, when its services were 
being used hesitantly if at all, the Canadian Government considered another 
mechanism for co-ordinating the use not only of materials but also of labor 
resources. The Canadian Section of the Permanent Joint Board proposed 
for discussion at the 1-2 April 1943 meeting a "Joint Authority in the North- 
west Area on Labor and Supplies." Before the meeting took place, this 
agenda item was withdrawn, the Canadian Government apparently having 
decided to accomplish the same ends by means other than a joint authority. 74 
In an effort harmoniously to satisfy the competing U.S. and Canadian de- 
mands for labor resources, the government appointed a Western Labor 
Board at Edmonton and gave it "jurisdiction over wage and employment 
conditions on defense projects (Canadian and U.S.) in Alberta, British Colum- 
bia, Yukon Territory, and the Northwest Territories." 75 

A third Canadian action was the establishment of the office of Special 
Commissioner for Defense Projects in Northwestern Canada, within the 
Privy Council office. 76 To head the office, which was located at Edmonton, 
the Canadian Government appointed Brigadier (later Major General) W. W. 
Foster, who was made responsible to the Cabinet War Committee. The 
creation of a Special Commissioner was intended to provide a focal point 
and single channel for Canadian co-operation and co-ordination with U.S. 

12 Privy Council 2082, 16 Mar 43; John de Navarry Kennedy, History of the Department of 
Munitions and Supply: Canada in the Second World War (Ottawa: E. Cloutier, King's Printer, 
1950), I, 380. 

73 Ltr, U.S. Charge Lewis Clark to Hickerson, 23 Jun 43; Kennedy, History of the Depart- 
ment of Munitions and Supply, I, 381-82; Chapter XXXI contains a full account of the work of 
the company. Food purchases during 1943 averaged $750,000 monthly, while other purchases 
added $500,000 to that amount. 

74 Ltr, Hickerson to SUSAM, 9 Apr 43, PDB 108-6. 

75 Progress Rpt, 1-14 Jul 43 PJDB meeting, PDB 124. The report cites the establishment 
as under the authority of Privy Council 3870, 17 May 43. 

76 Privy Council 3758, 6 May 43. Other orders-in-council relating to the staff of this office 
are Privy Council 4224, 21 May 43, and 5465, 7 Aug 45. 



Maj. Gen. W. W. Foster (left) with Col. J. P. Glandon at Dawson Creek, British 
Columbia, January 1944. 

authorities in northwest Canada, to centralize the authority of Canadian field 
agencies, and to decentralize certain authority from Ottawa through its dele- 
gation to that office. 77 This action apparently helped satisfy the Canadian 
requirement for closer co-ordination with U.S. activities in northwest Canada. 
By this time the situation was also improved by the increased stability of 
the U.S. organizational structure. Delegation by the Canadian Government 
to General Foster, whom U.S. commanders found to be most co-operative, 
of certain authority was also responsive to the U.S. desire for such an ar- 
rangement, which had found expression some weeks earlier in a Permanent 
Joint Board recommendation. The office of the Special Commissioner was 
to prove particularly useful in prosecuting the expanded program of con- 
struction on the Northwest Staging Route that the United States initiated in 
July 1943. 78 

No further deficiencies were noted or adjustments of significance occa- 

7 7 Progress Rpt, 1-14 Jul 43 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. Lingard and Trotter, Canada in 
World Affairs, III, 71, call General Foster's office a "Canadian military command." However, 
he apparently neither reported through military channels nor exercised such command over any 
Canadian military field agencies except in regard to certain administrative and lo gistical me asures. 

78 Par. 10, Twenty-ninth Recommendation, text at appendix "A"] below. See lCh. Villi below. 



sioned in this over-all co-ordination machinery in northwestern Canada. One 
development of interest did occur in March 1944. By that time a number of 
precedents had established a pattern for consideration of problems concern- 
ing U.S. -Canadian co-operation through joint committees. At a meeting 
held on 20 March, under the chairmanship of General Foster, to consider 
co-ordination of the services operating along the Northwest Staging Route 
and Mackenzie River air route, joint committees of representatives of the agen- 
cies concerned were set up for construction and engineering, communications, 
security of commuications, weather, transportation, supply, and flying con- 
trol. These U.S. -Canadian committees met from time to time to discuss and 
agree on solution of problems within their spheres of interest. 79 

Not only were the organizational structures complicated, but the pro- 
cedures by which projects were reviewed within those structures were often 
equally or more complicated. The procedures followed for authorization and 
construction of U.S. projects in Canada are an excellent example. Until the 
beginning of 1943, all projects were approved on the governmental level. 
The Permanent Joint Board felt that it should review such projects before 
governmental action was taken. But approvals were in fact being granted as 
a result of recommendations based on Board reviews of the projects, direct 
arrangements on the service level, direct arrangements on the diplomatic level 
usually involving an exchange of notes, or a combination of these actions. 80 
By early 1943 it became apparent that a requirement for Permanent Joint 
Board review of all projects was impractical, and the Board concluded that 
decisions on minor projects, particularly those related to approved projects, 
could be effected between local commanders. 81 

On 17-18 May 1943 meetings were held in Ottawa in response to a Cana- 
dian request for clarification of the U.S. organization and responsibilities in 
Canada. At the meeting the procedures for authorizing and constructing 
major U.S. projects were outlined in detail and accepted. The meeting was 
attended by the Permanent Joint Board members, Canadian Government rep- 
resentatives, including General Foster, the Special Commissioner, and by Maj. 
Gen. Thomas M. Robins, Assistant Chief of U.S. Army Engineers for con- 
struction, and Brig. Gen. L. D. Worsham and Brig. Gen. Beverly C. Dunn, 
Division Engineers, respectively, of the Northwest Engineer Division and the 
North Atlantic Engineer Division. 82 

79 Progress Rpt, 12-13 Apr 44 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 

80 Journal, 3 Nov 42 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 

81 Journals, 24-25 Feb and 6-7 May 43 meetings, PDB 124. 

82 Minutes, PDB 111-12. 



To illustrate the complexity of the procedures, the agencies that needed 
to act in connection with the authorization and initiation of construction of 
a U.S. Army Air Forces project in Canada were as follows: 8J 

Authorization for the project 
War Department General Staff 
U.S. Section of the Permanent Joint Board 
Permanent Joint Board 
Canadian Government 
Permanent Joint Board secretaries 
War Department General Staff 

Site selection and approval 
Army Service Forces 
Chief of Engineers 
Division Engineer 
Chief of Engineers 
Permanent Joint Board secretaries 
Canadian Government 
Permanent Joint Board secretaries 
Chief of Engineers 

Directive to construct 
Division Engineer 
District Engineer 
Civilian contractor 

For other projects in Canada, the procedures were slightly modified. It 
should be noted that the procedure included none of the steps involved in 
the formulation of a project, or in its co-ordination during construction. 
Additionally, the simple one-line entry shown only for the Canadian Gov- 
ernment as a whole undoubtedly involved review by the Special Commis- 
sioner for projects in his area and by one or more departments or other 

The development of the U.S. logistical and administrative organization in 
Canada and the problems of co-ordination that confronted Canada suggest that 
the early establishment of a unified U.S. -Canadian logistical and administrative 
command would have been to the advantage of Canada. In such a com- 
mand, the fact of Canadian sovereignty would have justified an adequate 
Canadian role. But a unified command might have been objectionable to 
the United States in that it could have meant less freedom of action. 

85 Minutes, 17-18 May 43 meeting, PDB 111-12. 



It is not apparent that Canada took any direct action along this line, per- 
haps because it would have been inconsistent with the earlier stand on unity 
of operational command. In fact, in the step-by-step effort to produce order 
from the organizational chaos, Canada moved, insofar as it could unilaterally, 
in the direction of unified co-ordination and direction. The joint commit- 
tees established by the Special Commissioner give support to this hypothesis 
as do other joint control and staff agencies that were established, as for ex- 
ample the Joint Travel Control Board and the JAN-CAN Committee. 84 The 
early establishment of a unified logistical command would have paid addi- 
tional dividends in eliminating some of the duplicate services the two coun- 
tries developed within Canada such as communications, weather, and airway 
control facilities. 

An alternate solution might have obviated Canadian difficulties with 
organizations, responsibilities, and channels. This solution would have re- 
quired the United States to establish a single communications zone type 
logistical headquarters similar to those the U.S. Army set up overseas to sup- 
port combat commanders. Such a headquarters could have been charged 
with the responsibility for all U.S. military activity in Newfoundland and 
Canada. An integral Canadian office comparable to that of the Special Com- 
missioner would have provided a focal point for contacts with Canadian 
agencies. A command of such scope might have been inherently unaccepta- 
ble to the Canadians because of their sensitivity to anything remotely resem- 
bling encroachment on Canadian sovereignty. In any event, apparently 
neither government ever broached such a scheme. Instead, the patterns of 
U.S. administrative organization developed largely in geographic extension 
of those already existing within the adjacent establishments in the continental 
United States. From simple origins the organizations grew "like Topsy" 
and soon became a Hydra-headed monster. 


Hemisphere Defense Problems 

The Ogdensburg Declaration directed the Permanent Joint Board on 
Defense to make studies of the military' problems involved in "the defense 
of the north half of the Western Hemisphere." As has been pointed out, a 
strict interpretation of this phrase would resulted in planning embrac- 
ing Central America, the Caribbean area, and South America to approximately 
the Amazon River. But in practice the Permanent Joint Board declined to 
take cognizance of the defense problems of any of Latin America and of much 
of the United States. Its studies were in fact limited to about that part of 
North America, excluding Greenland, north of a line through New York 
City and Portland, Oregon. Common military problems in other parts of 
the Western Hemisphere were discussed and acted upon in other forums and 
through other channels. 

In the U.S.-Canadian diplomatic discussions soon after the fall of France 
but long before the United States entered the war as a formal belligerent, 
Prime Minister King took up with U.S. Minister Moffat the need to prevent 
Germany from establishing bases in Greenland, Iceland, and the West Indies 
and the possibility that U.S. action might be desirable. Canada had already, 
as a consequence of the disastrous events of May 1940, sent forces to Iceland 
and an infantry battalion, the Winnipeg Grenadiers, to Jamaica. At the 
time of these discussions the United Kingdom was pressing for more Cana- 
dian troops to reinforce Iceland and to replace the British troops that had 
been sent to the Dutch oil-refining island of Aruba, off the coast of Vene- 
zuela. King was dubious about the latter action and proceeded to clear it 
with Washington, but he was even more concerned about the idea of send- 
ing so much of Canada's military strength out of Canada. Nevertheless, in 
accordance with the United Kingdom request, King was at first prepared to 
send troops to Aruba by transferring the Canadian battalion from Jamaica. 1 

On 5 July Moffat, who had just returned from Washington, reported to 
King on the Aruba matter. The United States, he said, was developing a 
method for establishing trusteeships over territories in the Western Hemi- 
sphere that might be threatened with transfer from one non- American state 

1 Memo/Conv, Moffat and King, 27 Jun 40, Moffat Diary; Cdn Leg aide-memoire, 28 Jun 40, 
D/S 856B.01/43. 



to another. The trusteeship plan was to be considered by the conference 
of foreign ministers of the American states which was to be held later in 
July at Havana to consider the needs of the new situation in Europe. King 
welcomed the trusteeship plan, for it promised to relieve Canada of the need 
to provide garrisons such as that for Aruba. 2 Canada thus looked with in- 
terest to the proceedings at Havana, and after the conference it limited Cana- 
dian garrisons in the Caribbean to those in British possessions. 

The Twenty-second Chair 

At the beginning of World War II, the Pan American Union included 
twenty Latin American republics and the United States. Traditionally, the 
Pan American Union had long anticipated the possibility of Canadian mem- 
bership and, for the reason, had maintained in storage a twenty-second chair, 
identical with the other twenty-one chairs, to seat the Canadian representa- 
tive. In addition, when the Pan American Union Building in Washington 
was constructed in 1910, a frieze bordering the patio was installed that in- 
cluded the coat of arms of Canada with those of the twenty-one member 

Proposals for Canadian membership in the Pan American Union made 
before World War II were unsuccessful at least in part because of U.S. oppo- 
sition. The U.S. delegation to the 1928 international conference of American 
states had been instructed to oppose membership for Canada or any European 
dependency or colony on the ground that it would inject the influence and 
policies of a European state into a forum devoted to problems of the Western 
Hemisphere. 3 At the 1933 conference, Canadian membership had been pro- 
posed and approved in subcommittee, but the proposal was dropped after 
the U.S. delegation asked for a reconsideration. 4 For the same reasons ad- 
vanced in 1928, the United States continued to oppose Canadian membership 
up until, and after, the beginning of World War II. 5 Canadian interest in 
membership, which persisted until the eve of World War II, appears to have 
been based largely on geographical grounds and on the increasing importance 
of Canadian-Latin American trade relations. 

2 Memo/Conv, Moffat and King, 5 Jul 40, Moffat Diary. 

Secretary of State Hull had been disturbed by the earlier British action in occupying Curacao 
and Aruba after the invasion of the Netherlands. (Hull, Memoirs, I, 814.) He feared such 
actions would encourage similar steps in the Pacific by an aggressive-minded Japan, which could 
cite the actions as precedents. 

5 Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1928 (Washington: Govern- 
ment Printing Office, 1942), I, 583. 

4 Policy Recommendation, to Norman Armour, 2 Oct 44, D/S 710.001/10-244. 

5 Ltr, Welles to Armour, 24 Feb 36, and Ltr, Clark to Hickerson, 6 Dec 43, both in D/S 



With the outbreak of war the inter-American organization became vitally 
concerned with defense measures. In September 1939 the foreign ministers 
of the American republics met at Panama and acted on measures relating to 
defense and neutrality. After the fall of France a second similar conference 
was scheduled at Havana. 

Announcement of the Havana Conference aroused anew discussions in 
Canada of proposals for Canadian membership in the Pan American Union. 
Despite Canada's desire to attend the meeting, the United States discouraged 
Canadian participation in the Havana Conference. When questioned about 
it in the House of Commons, Prime Minister King frankly stated his belief 
that official Canadian participation "would be embarrassing to the United 
States and to the South American republics" and would be construed as a 
sign of Canadian weakness. 6 Canada sent Professor Percy Corbett to the 
Havana meetings as an unofficial observer, and he discussed the possibility 
of Canadian membership with many of the officials present. Corbett found 
a sympathetic attitude among those officials but no feeling that formal Cana- 
dian participation in inter- American proceedings was important. On the 
other hand, he encountered considerable comment on Canada's status as a 
belligerent and a member of the British Commonwealth. 7 

Although the United States had opposed Canadian membership in the 
Pan American Union, President Roosevelt and State Department officers dur- 
ing 1941 urged Canada to play a greater role in Latin America. They en- 
couraged Canada to co-operate in the war effort by extending Canadian 
diplomatic representation in that area and by taking other measures. Be- 
tween September 1941 and January 1942 Canada exchanged diplomatic 
missions with Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, and it also signed trade agree- 
ments with those countries in the interest of expanding trade relations in the 
postwar period. 8 

When a third meeting of the foreign ministers of the American states to 
be held at Rio de Janeiro in January 1942 was announced, considerable Cana- 
dian press comment in favor of formal Canadian participation appeared. 9 

6 H. C. Debates, 31 Jul 40, p. 2195, and 6 Aug 40, pp. 2540-41. For an excellent account 
of wartime Canadian press and political party attitudes on the Pan American Union, and of the 
political, military, geographic, and economic aspects of proposals for Canadian participation, see 
Eugene H. Miller, "Canada and the Pan American Union," International Journal, III (Winter 
1947-48), 24-39. 

7 Memo/Conv, Moffat and Corbett, 7 Aug 40, Moffat Diary. Corbert's appraisal of the situ- 
ation is presumably set forth in his article "Canada in the Western Hemisphere," Foreign Affairs, 
XIX (July 1941), 778-89. 

"Memo/Conv, King and Moffat, 23 Jun 41, Moffat Diary; H. C. Debates, 27 Feb 42, pp. 

'Miller, op. cit., pp. 31-32. 



The Canadian Government clearly indicated to the United States on several 
occasions during December and January its desire to participate or, alter- 
nately, to become a member of the Pan American Union. Several of the 
other American republics had offered to propose that Canada be invited to 
participate, but the Canadian Government first wished to be assured of U.S. 
support. Despite his recent encouragement of closer Canadian-Latin Ameri- 
can relations, President Roosevelt told Mr. King that he felt bringing in a 
member of the Commonwealth would be a mistake. The Prime Minister, 
who had hoped that the United States would welcome Canadian participa- 
tion, accepted Roosevelt's decision. 10 

As to the attitude of other American states, Sumner Welles reported as 
the consensus of his discussions with all of the key delegates at Rio de 
Janeiro the conclusion that nothing official should be done until the end of 
the war." Yet two months later Canada again raised the question of closer 
Canadian collaboration with the inter- American machinery, on the ground 
that it was continuing to receive expressions of interest, particularly from the 
larger Latin American countries, in seeing such collaboration. United States 
officials could only explain the contradictory reports by suggesting that the 
Latin American countries were talking differently to Canada and to the United 
States. 12 

It was at their January 1942 meeting that the foreign ministers established 
the Inter-American Defense Board, to comprise service representatives of the 
twenty-one member countries. This board was to have its seat in Washing- 
ton and was to study and make recommendations concerning necessary 
defense measures. 13 In military as well as in other collective measures in the 
prosecution of the war effort, the hemisphere machinery was to continue to 
lack the cog representing one of the most important American states. 

Sections of the Canadian press took the government to task for what they 
concluded was Canadian reluctance or outright refusal to accept membership 

10 U.S. Leg Ott Telg 4, 7 Jan 42, D/S 85 1A. 01/40; Ltr, Moffat to Duggan, 6 Jan 42, D/S 
710.001/953; D/S Telg, to Welles, 13 Jan 42, D/S 710 Consultation (3)/312B; Memo/Conv, 
Moffat and King, 16 Dec 41, Moffat Diary; Memo/Conv, Welles and Wrong, 18 Dec 41, 
Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 75. 

11 Memo, Welles for Duggan, 17 Feb 42, D/S 710.001/957-1/2. 

'- Memo, Duggan for Welles, 3 Apr 42, reporting on inquiry of Hume Wrong, D/S 710.001/ 
971; Memo, Moffat visit to Washington 4-11 Apr 41, Moffat Diary. Welles, who was ap- 
parently opposed to Canadian entry, makes only guarded reference to the question of Canadian 
participation in the Pan American system in his lectures printed as Co-operation Between Canada 
and the United States in the Search for World Peace (Winnipeg: J. W. Dafoe Foundation. 1946), 
p. 16. 

" "Final Act of the Third Meeting of Foreign Ministers," Department of State Bulletin, 
February 7, 1942, VI, 137. 



in the Pan American Union. 14 The Prime Minister hinted at the truth when 
he informed the House of Commons: "There have been times quite recently 
when we might have expected invitations but were given reasons why it 
would not be advisable to have an invitation extended. That position still 
exists to a certain extent, for reasons which I cannot publicly explain." 15 

United States policy both before and after the Rio de Janeiro meeting 
apparently was based on concern over the possible intrusion of the United 
Kingdom into Pan American affairs through a Canada subservient in foreign 
policy matters. The Department of State could cite a number of incidents 
that appeared to support such a possibility. In one instance, after the estab- 
lishment of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, a senior Canadian Army 
officer had suggested that British representatives should participate in the 
Board, since the Canadian Government had no secrets from the British Gov- 
ernment. 16 In another, the St. Pierre-Miquelon affair, Canada more or less 
openly agreed that the suggested United Kingdom solution would be accepta- 
ble. 17 United States concern over United Kingdom intrusion into Pan 
American affairs may have also been strengthened by the offer, made 
by British Ambassador Halifax to Sumner Welles, of assistance through the 
British diplomatic missions in South America in helping the United States 
to realize its objectives at the Rio meeting. Welles received the offer coolly, 
stating that he would notify Lord Halifax if British assistance appeared use- 
ful. 18 Whatever the intended purpose of the approach to Welles, it appears 
likely that it did not encourage a favorable U.S. attitude on the question of 
Canadian participation. 

After the Rio de Janeiro Conference the question of Canadian participa- 
tion in inter-American affairs remained dormant for over a year, until the 
latter half of 1943- At that time several speeches by Canadian officials sug- 
gested that the Canadian people would like to see Canada in the Pan 
American Union and pointed out that Canada's position in the Common- 
wealth should not be a barrier since her policy was no longer determined in 
Downing Street. 19 In analyzing the speeches, the U.S. charge d'affaires 
agreed that Canadian policy was not determined by the British where ques- 
tions affected vital Canadian interests, but he felt that, when this was not the 
case, Canada still tended to follow British guidance. 20 

u Miller, op. at., p. 32. 

15 H. C. Debates. 1 Aug 42, p. 5146. 

16 Memo/Conv, Moffat and Lt Gen H. D. G. Crerar, 12 Oct 40, D/S 842.20 Def/42. 
17 Ltr, Clark to J. G. Parsons, 3 Sep 43, D/S 710.001/1054-1/2. 
,8 Memo/Conv, 27 Dec 41, D/S 710 Consultation (3)/368. 

19 Miller, op. at., p. 33. 

20 Ltr, Clark to Parsons, 3 Sep 43, D/S 710.001/1054-1/2. 



In view of the speeches by Canadian Government officials and of the 
increasing press interest in Canadian membership in the Pan American 
Union, especially in Quebec, newly accredited Ambassador Ray Atherton 
initiated a redefinition of the U.S. position at the beginning of 1944. 21 On 
the advice of Secretary of State Hull, the new ambassador outlined to Prime 
Minister King the U.S. Government's doubt as to the feasibility of bringing 
up the question in the light of wartime conditions and its conclusion that 
the question could be discussed fully after the war. King confirmed these 
views as exactly his own, since it appeared to him to be a time for consider- 
ing global rather than regional problems." The flurry of speeches by Cana- 
dian Government officials had nevertheless indicated a real interest in Latin 
America, for during 1944 Canada resumed the expansion of Canadian diplo- 
matic representation in that area. 23 

During the last year of the war the Department of State seemed some- 
what more sympathetic toward Canadian membership in the inter- American 
system. Also, the necessary support from the Latin American countries ap- 
peared assured. 24 But during the inter-American conference held at Mexico 
City in February-March 1945, when Chile sponsored a resolution calling for 
Canadian admission to the Pan American Union, it was transformed, at U.S. 
instance, into a resolution (XXII of the Final Act) that paid tribute to the 
Canadian war effort and expressed the wish that Canadian collaboration with 
the Pan American system should become ever closer. 25 

By that time the tide of Canada's Pan American aspirations was ebbing. 
A public opinion poll taken in Canada in January 1944 had indicated that 
only 28 percent of those polled knew what the Pan American Union was, 
although the great majority of them favored Canadian membership. As 

21 Ltr, Atherton to Hull, 12 Jan 44, D/S 710.001/1106. For a study on Pan American 
sentiment, see Iris S. Podea, "Pan American Sentiment in French Canada," International Journal, 
III (Autumn 1948), 334-49. 

22 Ltr, Atherton to Hull, 28 Jan 44, D/S 710.001/1102. Hull in his Memoirs, II, 1481, 
states that the Pan American Union question was not much discussed or specially urged by 
either government, since both had in mind that Canada got into war if the United Kingdom did. 
He felt that the co-operation that existed was to every practical extent the same that would 
have occurred had Canada been a member. 

2 ' Canada, Department of External Affairs, "Canada and Latin America," External Affairs, I 
(May 1949), 26. 

24 A lengthy study resulted in a "Policy Recommendation," dated 2 October 1944, that the 
United States should assist in bringing about Canadian membership, but the recommendation 
was apparently not approved. (D/S 710.001/10-244.) A subsequent survey of the United 
States diplomatic missions in ten American republics confirmed that a broad basis of support 
existed, subject to assurances as to Canada's position in the British Commonwealth. (Memo, 
by L.J. Halle, Jr., 23 Nov 45, D/S 710.001/11-2345.) 

25 Ltr, Under Secy State Joseph C. Grew to President, 8 Mar 45, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's 
File, Box 150; Report of the U.S. Delegation (Department of State Publication No. 2497 [Wash- 
ington: Government Printing Office, 1946} ), p. 95. 



official Canadian interest cooled, King was able to cite the need for wider 
general appreciation in Canada of the purposes and responsibilities of the Pan 
American Union as a condition precedent to active Canadian interest in 
membership. 26 

The adoption of the Act of Chapultepec at Mexico City in March 1945 
may have helped produce a further change in the Canadian attitude. In the 
light of the new obligations that Canada would assume under the United 
Nations charter, the additional obligations entailed under the Act of 
Chapultepec received careful study. Opinions in government and other in- 
formed circles in Canada were widely divided on the question of Canadian 
participation in the inter-American system. Press comment on the question 
diminished considerably after March 1945, and it ceased to be a political 

The question of Canadian admission to the Pan American Union during 
World War II seems to have been considered by both countries primarily 
in terms of considerations other than military. The U.S. War and Navy 
Departments never urged Canadian participation as advantageous in dealing 
with hemisphere defense problems, and the Permanent Joint Board on De- 
fense recorded no discussions on the subject. As for Canada, a 1949 official 
publication cited the growth of Canadian interest in Latin America as one 
of the significant developments in the expansion of Canada's international 
relations. This publication described the wartime growth of direct Canadian 
diplomatic representation replacing the earlier representation through United 
Kingdom representatives. It pointed out the very considerable increase in 
the volume of trade and the emphasis that had been placed upon cultural 
relations. Insofar as security problems were concerned, it made no comment 
on Canadian interest in the over-all defense requirements of the hemisphere. 
In the postwar period, the article stated, Canada should keep under review 
the defense requirements of the northern part of the hemisphere through the 
Permanent Joint Board on Defense and the North Atlantic Treaty Organiza- 
tion. Through the United Nations, Canada could keep in close contact and 
regularly exchange views with Latin American delegations on problems 
affecting their security. 28 

26 Public Opinion Quarterly, VIII (Spring 1944), 146; H. C. Debates, 4 Aug 44, p. 5912. 
Months later, in February 1945, a government publication was to refute the importance of the 
poll results as a reason why Canada should not be a member. (Department of External Affairs, 
Information Division, Reference Paper 34, p. 16.) 

27 U.S. Emb Ott Desp 2884, 1 Aug 45, D/S 710.001/8-145; U.S. Emb Ott Desp 2886, 7 
Aug 45, D/S 710.001/8-745. 

28 Canada, Department of External Affairs, "Canada and Latin America," External Affairs, I 
(May 1949), 25-34. 


A tthough the available evidence is far from complete, it suggests that 
Canadian interest in participating in the inter-American system during World 
War II was based on economic and political motives, rather than on the pos- 
sibility of a greater or more effective Canadian contribution to over-all hemi- 
sphere security. Partly because it had discouraged a grearer Canadian defense 
contribution in Latin America before Pearl Harbor, the United States found 
it necessary to supply most of the defense needs that could not be met by 
the Latin Amctican countries themselves. 39 

Securing Greenland 

In May 1939, when the U.S. Senate considered a resolution calling for 
initiation of negotiations with Denmark for the purchase of Greenland, the 
War Department in commenting on the proposal stated that any "strategic 
advantage as would accrue . . . would be negligible, and in any event un- 
necessary." It also held that Greenland was so undeveloped and so far on 
the flank of sea and air routes that its possession by a hostile powet would 
not constitute a significant threat. 10 Events were not to support the War 
Department's appraisal, and before long both Canada and the United States 
became actively interested in Greenland on three counts: 

a. Protection of the cryolire mines at Ivigtut. These mines represented 
the only important natural source of cryolite, which was essential in the pro- 
duction of aluminum. 

b. Use of air-base and weather and communications stations there in 
connection with ferrying aircraft across the North Atlantic. 


The German occupation of Denmark on 8-9 April 1940, after the many 
months of lull in the "phony war," focused attention on the fate of Green- 
land. Secretary of Stare Hull, on 13 April, informed Canadian Minister Lor- 
ing Christie (and the British Embassy as well) that the United States did not 
recognize the right of any third government, even Canada ot the United 

'"Apart from forces in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Canadian Army deployments at 
the end of the war included a battalion (786 strong) in Jamaica, 163 troops in the Bahamas, 
and 181 in Bermuda. In addition, a detachment of the Veterans Guard of Canada had served 
in Btitish Guiana, protecting bauxite shipments, (Stacey, T&? Canadian Army. 1939—1943, p. 
43n.) Of interest is the fact that the U.S. deployments included forces sent just after Pearl 
Harbor co Aruba. the Dutch possession that had been the subject of proposed similar action by 
Canada in June 1940. The U.S. deployments to Aruba and neighboring Curacao had been 
arranged with the United Kingdom in March 1941 as patt of the ABC-1 report arrangements. 

Lit, Harry H. Woodring, SW, to Bureau of Budget, 16 May 39, WPD 4173-7, Sec. I. 
The above comments, prepared at staff level, were reviewed and approved by the head of War 
Plans Division and by Chief of Staff Malin Craig, as well as by Woodring. 



Kingdom, to occupy or otherwise interfere in Greenland. A few days later 
the Canadian Government, which had been requested to do so by the United 
Kingdom, advised the United States that it was concerned over the security 
of the cryolite mines, the danger that Germany might establish bases in 
Greenland, and the relief needs of the Greenland inhabitants, who had been 
deprived of their export markets. Canada, Ottawa told Washington, was 
therefore considering dispatch of a small defense force for the duration of the 
war, during which time Canada would act "as a trustee for a restored and 
independent Danish Government." Canada gave assurance that it would not 
send the force without notifying, or before receiving the views of, the United 
States. But it would not commit itself not to send the force if such action 
appeared necessary. 51 

The U.S. Government was extremely anxious that no action of this kind 
be taken by Canada since it might offer an excuse to other large countries for 
taking over colonial territories of occupied European countries. Canada ac- 
cepted the U.S. view on the condition that the United States would assume 
the responsibility of meeting the threats that might arise. The American 
Red Cross at the same time began a study of the relief problem in Green- 
land. 32 

Concurrently, the Danish Minister in Washington, Henrik de Kauffmann, 
was suggesting to Secretary Hull that a U.S. protectorate be established over 
the island. Hull opposed the action on the same grounds he had voiced to 
Canada. The local governments in Greenland, the Greenland Councils, were 
likewise concerned over the security of the island and, on 3 May 1940, also 
sought U.S. protection. The United States declined to furnish it but instead 
arranged for the installation of a consul and vice consul at Godthaab. 33 

The worsening military situation in Europe, together with conflicting U.S. 
views on the defense responsibility for Greenland, impelled the Canadians to 
act. Whereas Department of State representatives had stated that the United 
States would take any action needed in Greenland, President Roosevelt had 
told Prime Minister King that he expected the British Navy to repel a Ger- 
man attack. 34 Still confused as to U.S. policy after a further inquiry, Canada 

" Memo/Conv, Hull and Christie, 13 Apr 40, D/S 859B. 01/140; Memo/Conv and aide- 
memoire, 16 Apr 40, D/S 859B. 01/155; Memo/Conv, Hickerson and Escott Reid, 17 Apr 40, 
D/S 859B.01/147. Repeated requests from London reportedly pressed Canada to take prompt 
action to prevent Greenland from falling into German hands. (Memo/Conv, J. K. Penfield and 
Dunbar, 27 Dec 41, D/S 859B. 00/64.) See also Langer and Gleason, The Challenge to Isola- 
tion, pp. 429-33, 683-87, for an account of discussions concerning Greenland. 

" Memo, J. C. Dunn to Secy State, 19 Apr 40, D/S 859B.01/152. 

"Memo/Conv, 19 Apr 40, D/S 859B. 01/154; Hull, Memoirs. I, 756; Ltr, Secy State to 
Minister Kauffmann, 7 Apr 41, EAS, 204; Department of State Bulletin, May 4, 1940, II, 473. 
'"Memo/Conv, Christie and Berle, 1 May 40, D/S 859B.01/193. 



on 19 May informed the United States of the dispatch of a Hudson's Bay 
Company ship, the RMS Nascopie, to call in Greenland and land a Canadian 
consul there. 

The Nascopie had arrived at Ivigtut when, on 3 June, the Governments of 
North and South Greenland, already disturbed by this event, learned of the 
approach of the Danish vessel Julius Thomsen under control of a British prize 
crew and formally requested the United States to establish a garrison at 
Ivigtut to protect the cryolite mines. In discussions with the United States, 
Canada, too, indicated its concern over the vulnerability of the mines to a r - 
tack by raiding parties and offered assistance in defending them. 35 

To some U.S. officials, the Canadian interest in Greenland seemed to be 
related, at least in part, to a desire to expand the Canadian economic position 
in Greenland and to oust U.S. commercial interests at Ivigtut in favor of the 
Aluminium Company of Canada. Meetings for the purpose of working out 
an equitable arrangement for disposition of the output of cryolite had already 
been held in New York City by representatives of the Departments of State 
and External Affairs, the Greenland Governments, the Aluminium Company 
of Canada, and the Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Company, the American 
processor of the cryolite. It was the conduct of these meetings that had 
served to arouse U.S. suspicions. 36 

In any event and in response to the Greenland request, the USS Campbell 
was dispatched to Greenland. Its arrival on 7 June apparently served to allay 
the concern of the authorities in Greenland, where no change in the status 
quo took place. A few months later Secretary of State Hull nevertheless con- 
sidered it necessary, because of British operations designed to eliminate and 
insure against German activities on the east coast of Greenland and in adjacent 
waters, to reaffirm to Canada and the United Kingdom the position he had 
stated on 13 April. 37 

By the summer of 1940, interest was developing in air-base sites in Green- 
land for use in transatlantic flight operations. Definite proposals were 
initially made in August 1940. During that month, Capt. J. K. Lacey of the 
U.S. Army Air Corps made a survey seeking suitable sites. On 27 August 
the Canadian Government informed the United States of a British desire to 
establish an air base for use in ferrying short-range aircraft and asked if there 

" U.S. Consulate Godthaab Telg 22, 3 Jun 40, D/S 859B.01/199; Cdn Leg Note, to State 
Department, 27 May 40, D/S 859B. 20/49. 

56 Memo/Conv, Berle and Mahoney, 3 Jun 40, D/S 859B. 01/210. Months later, a Cana- 
dian official stated that the Aluminium Company of Canada had originally proposed and prac- 
tically organized "the unfortunate Nascopie expedition." (Memo/Conv, 27 Dec 41, D/S 859B.00/ 
64.) Memo for Record, 21 May 1940 meetings in New York City, D/S 859B.01/206. 

57 Ltrs, Hull to Christie and Lothian, 23 Sep 40, D/S 859B.01/293A. 



was any objection to an approach to the Greenland authorities for approval 
of a survey by Canada. Although the War Department had no objections, 
the Department of State suggested that the Canadian survey be delayed until 
the U.S. Army survey report was completed. This had the practical effect 
of delaying a Canadian survey until the following spring. 38 During October 
1940, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Northland made an additional survey of 
potential air-base sites. 

In January 1941 the Canadian Government renewed the British and Cana- 
dian proposal, stating that it was prepared to construct the desired facilities, 
to have the United State construct them, or to have the Greenland authorities 
construct them with U.S. assistance. 39 In presenting the problem to the Presi- 
dent and the Secretary of State, Assistant Secretary of State Adolf A. Berle, 
Jr., expressed the conviction that Canada would seize the Greenland sites 
unless the United States acted. His recommendation that the Greenland 
authorities be asked to establish the facilities needed with U.S. assistance 
was approved. 40 

The United States advised Canadian authorities of this decision and of its 
relation to the Monroe Doctrine, to the neutral status of Greenland, and to 
inter-American defense. Since Canada was a nation of the Western Hemi- 
sphere and provided a vital part of the hemisphere's defenses, facilities that 
would be built could be used by that country under the usual neutrality rules. 
The Canadian officials, when informed also that the problem was already 
under discussion with the Greenland authorities, expressed their satisfaction 
with the solution. 41 

While the necessary arrangements were being negotiated with the Danish 
and Greenland authorities, U.S. interdepartmental committees studied the 
problem. They concluded that, because of the complexity of considerations 
of defense, jurisdiction, and operation and maintenance of the facilities, con- 
struction by the Greenland authorities was impracticable and should be 
undertaken by the United States. 42 The Department of State presented to 
and discussed with Greenland authorities a draft agreement based on that 
approach. It was signed in Washington on 9 April 1941 by Secretary of 
State Hull and Minister Kauffmann, who, although he had been repudiated 

"Memo, H. Cumming for Berle, 27 Aug 40, D/S 859B.7962/2; Memo, G. C. Marshall for 
Secy Navy, 28 Aug 40, WPD 4330-3. 

39 Memo/Con v, Cumming and Reid, 6 Jan 41, and Cumming and F. R. Hoyer Millar, 13 
Jan 41, D/S 859B.7962/3. 

40 Memo, 7 Feb 41, D/S 859B.7962/18. 

41 Memo/Conv, Berle and Mahoney, 13 Feb 41, D/S 859B.7962/13. 

42 Summary of Points Respecting the Establishment of Landing Fields in Greenland Agreed 
Upon at a Meeting Held on March 5, 1941, WPD 4173-11. 



Harbor Camp Area of the Greenland Base Command. Photograph taken 
June 1943. 

by the new Danish Government after the German occupation of Denmark, 
was still recognized by the United States as the representative of the King of 
Denmark. In the agreement, the United States related its acceptance of 
responsibility for the status of Greenland to the Act of Havana of 30 July 
1940. Declaration XX of the Act of Havana had authorized emergency 
action by any of the American republics to forestall threatened transfer of 
territory in the Western Hemisphere. 43 The agreement also provided for 
use of the facilities to be constructed by "airplanes and vessels of all 
the American Nations for purposes connected with the common defense of 
the Western Hemisphere." The use of the term "American Nations," rather 
than the usual Pan American Union usage of "American Republics," brought 
Canada within the scope of this provision. 44 

4 ' EAS, 199- Mr. Hull's note of 7 April also made reference to the Monroe Doctrine and 
"the traditional policies of this Government respecting the Western Hemisphere," but the 
agreement signed made no mention of them. It is also of interest to note that the ABC-1 
report on the British-U.S. military staff meetings, signed 27 March, had made the defense of 
Greenland east of 30° west longitude a responsibility of the United Kingdom. 

44 The agreement and notes exchanged before its signing are in EAS, 204. For an examina- 
tion of the unusual circumstances attending the conclusion of this agreement, see Herbert W. 
Briggs, "The validity of the Greenland Agreement," American Journal of International Law, 
XXXV (1941), 506-13. 



In announcing the agreement, the Department of State revealed that 
German bomber reconnaissance aircraft had flown over the east coast of 
Greenland on several occasions not two weeks before the signing. German 
activity on the island had on the whole diminished after the British seized 
the German-controlled but Norwegian-manned weather stations in the sum- 
mer of 1940. Nevertheless, sporadic air reconnaissance thereafter had 
indicated continued German interest. 45 

In anticipation of the signing of the agreement a South Greenland Sur- 
vey Expedition had left Boston on 17 March to make the detailed surveys. 
The Secretary of War had received an allocation of $5 million from 
the President's emergency fund to permit work to be started at the beginning 
of the short construction season. 46 As a result of the work of the South 
Greenland Survey Expedition, the U.S. Army dispatched a force of 473 offi- 
cers and men, mostly Engineer construction troops, which arrived on 8 July 
1941. By the end of 1941 the garrison totaled approximately 700, and the 
airfield at Narsarssuak was usable by all types of aircraft. Eventually, mili- 
tary development included five installations on Greenland's east coast and 
eight on its west coast. 47 

Prompted by the Bismarck affair and other enemy activity in the Green- 
land area, Canada made one more approach to the United States, in May 
1941, requesting immediate consideration of the need for reinforcement of 
the defenses at the cryolite mines. The Canadians indicated that, as before, 
they were ready to provide a Canadian garrison immediately and in other 
ways to co-operate in strengthening the defenses. The United States declined 
the Canadian offer of assistance with appreciation and made arrangements to 
disclose the military measures planned by the United States to Canadian 
officials through military channels. 48 

The arrival in Greenland of the initial U.S. garrison and its subsequent 
reinforcement apparently allayed Canadian concern. Other developments 
served to reduce the security requirements for Greenland. The strengthened 
Allied military position in the North Atlantic, at least insofar as German 

45 Department of State Bulletin, April 12, 1941, IV, 444. For an account of the continuing 
German activities in Greenland throughout the war and of U.S. countermeasures, see U.S. Coast 
Guard, The Coast Guard at War: Greenland Patrol (Washington: 1945). 

46 Memo, Acting CofS for SW, 10 Apr 41, WPD 4173-25. 

47 The east coast facilities were given the code designations of Bluie East (or BE) 1 to 5; 
those on the west coast, Bluie West (or BW) 1 to 8. BW-1 and BW-8, the airfields at 
Narsarssuak and S0ndre Str0mfjord, became the major bases. See Morison, The Battle of the 
Atlantic, pp. 60-62; Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plant and Preparations, pp. 486-90. 

48 Cdn Leg aide-memoire, 27 May 41, WPD 4173-72. A proposal to provide the informa- 
tion in the PJBD was rejected since the Canadian Section had "been given to understand that 
the defense of Greenland . . . [was] not a matter for consideration by that Board." (Memo, 
WPD for G-2, 17 Jul 41, WPD 4173-99.) 



surface operations were concerned, reduced the German threat. By mid-1942 
the U.S. domestic output of synthetic cryolite had reached the rate of 35,000 
tons annually, which about equaled the U.S. share of the annual cryolite out- 
put in Greenland. Although increasing needs fully absorbed the additional 
amounts, at least total Allied dependence on the sole natural source was 
ended. 49 

The Defense of Iceland 

German occupation of Denmark after the 8-9 April 1940 invasion raised 
the question of what action Germany might take vis-a-vis Iceland, which 
under the Act of Union of 1 December 1918 was a sovereign kingdom joined 
with Denmark through their common sovereign, His Majesty the King of 
Iceland and Denmark. The Department of State, in studying courses of action 
possible if Germany were to lay claim to Iceland and/or Greenland, examined 
the applicability of the Monroe Doctrine to these and other European terri- 
tories. A study by one of the State Department's experts concluded that the 
doctrine could be considered applicable, since it had referred to "this Hemi- 
sphere" and since it was "held by authoritative geographers" that the part of 
the island west of the 20° west meridian was "definitely in the Western 
Hemisphere." 50 The United States did not find it necessary to take any 
military steps, for in May 1940 the United Kingdom occupied Iceland and 
established a garrison of several thousand troops there. This garrison was 
steadily increased until a year later it exceeded 25,000. 

The British garrison had been in Iceland only two months when the 
Icelandic Government, which had established direct relations with the United 
States in April 1940, asked on 12 July "whether the United States would in- 
clude Iceland in the Western Hemisphere and put it under the protection of 
the Monroe Doctrine." This request received no encouragement, nor did a 
similar request made in September. 51 

When the Permanent Joint Board on Defense initiated its studies of the 
"north half of the Western Hemisphere," it either excluded Iceland from its 
purview or found no need, in the light of the British garrisons already estab- 
lished there, to consider the defense of Iceland. Whatever the case, the rec- 
ords of the Permanent Joint Board do not mention Iceland. The agreements 
reached by the U.S.-United Kingdom planners during January-March 1941, in 

49 Although aluminum production is feasible using only synthetic cryolite, the process is 
more efficient and economical if a certain proportion of natural cryolite is used. 

50 Study by H. Notter, Applicabiliry of the Monroe Doctrine if Germany Should Lay Claim 
to the Possessions of Denmark in the Western Hemisphere, 9 Apr 40, D/S 859.01/43. 

51 Memo/Conv, Berle and Consul General V. Thor, 12 Jul 40, D/S 710.11/2551; Memo/ 
Conv, Hull and Thor, 5 Sep 40, D/S 859A.014/9. 


which the defense of Iceland was assigned to the United Kingdom, further 
moved Iceland from the area of Western Hemisphere problems that might 
be solved jointly by the United States and Canada. 

Although the initial garrison was British and the defense of Iceland was 
a United Kingdom responsibility, there was some indirect U.S. -Canadian col- 
laboration in meeting the security requirements of Iceland during World 
War II. On 10 May 1940, when the defenses of France were crumbling, 
Canada invited British suggestions as to action it might take to be of assist- 
ance. As a result of the British reply, Canada offered an infantry brigade of 
the 2d Canadian Division as part of the garrison for Iceland. Designated 
Z Force, the initial Canadian elements reached Iceland on 16 June. By 17 
July three Canadian battalions, the Royal Regiment of Canada, Les Fusiliers 
Mont-Royal, and the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, formed part of the 
British garrison. 52 The Canadian garrison reached a peak strength of about 
2,700. Around the first of November two battalions left for England, leav- 
ing in Iceland the third battalion and a small detachment of special troops. 

By the spring of 1941 the United Kingdom was encouraging the United 
States to provide forces for the defense of Iceland in order to release the sub- 
stantial British forces there. On 25 March Hitler declared Iceland to be in 
the war zone, and U.S. interest in that island began to increase. Its useful- 
ness for air bases and convoy protection was pointed out to President Roose- 
velt, who authorized a reconnaissance of the island. An initial survey was 
completed in early April. Further surveys were planned but were delayed, 
and no further action took place until early June. 53 

On 2 June 1941 Harry Hopkins, the Secretaries of War and the Navy, 
and General Marshall and Admiral Stark met to discuss recommendations of 
Ambassador John G. Winant brought from London as to ways and means of 
relieving the pressures on the United Kingdom. They considered a proposal, 
among others, for U.S. replacement of the garrison in Iceland. In interde- 
partmental discussions during the next few days the proposal received general 
support. On 5 June the President decided to send a force to Iceland as soon 

52 Stacey, The Canadian Army, 1939-1945, pp. 24-25. Colonel Stacey states that the British 
War Office wanted the entire 2d Canadian Division in Iceland, although the Canadian Govern- 
ment would have preferred to keep the bulk of the division in Canada. Churchill had still 
another plan and was surprised to learn from Lt. Gen. A. G. L. McNaughton that the whole 
2d Canadian Division was destined for Iceland. "No one was told anything about this. We 
require two Canadian divisions in England to work as a corps as soon as possible." (Memo, 
7 Jul 40, quoted in Churchill, Their Finest Hour. p. 268.) Canada, too, preferred to have the 
entire division concentrated in the United Kingdom, rather than split between Iceland and some 
other place, and the Churchill plan was carried out. General McNaughton became the Cana- 
dian Corps commander. 

,3 Morison, The Battle of the Atlantic, p. 57. 



as the government there requested U.S. protection, and he ordered a Marine 
force made ready within fifteen days. 54 

The British Government suggested that for military and tactical reasons 
Iceland be given no advance notice of the dispatch of U.S. troops, and that 
the United States instead present the Icelandic Government with a fait 
accompli. President Roosevelt rejected this suggestion as inconsistent with 
the basic U.S. hemisphere nonagression policy and insisted that a request 
from the Icelandic authorities would be necessary. 55 Despite efforts of the 
British Minister in Reykjavik, who had been virtually instructed to see to it 
that a request was made, the Icelandic Government refused explicitly to 
request or invite U.S. protection because a majority of the Parliament had 
recently opposed such a request. In the end, the Icelandic Government 
admitted that the introduction of U.S. troops was in the interest of Iceland 
and therefore entrusted the protection of that counry to the United States. 56 

In anticipation of a satisfactory arrangement President Roosevelt, on 16 
June, had ordered the Chief of Naval Operations to carry out Operation 
Indigo for the relief of the British garrison. On 7 July about 4,000 troops 
of the 1st Marine Brigade (Provisional) landed in Iceland and joined British 
forces in the Iceland garrison. No Canadian troops were present at that time 
since their transfer to the British Isles had just been completed. At the end 
of 1941, approximately 10,000 U.S. Army and Marine troops were in Iceland. 
During early 1942 the U.S. Marines and most of the British forces were with- 
drawn and replaced by U.S. Army troops. Command of the island garrison 
passed in April 1942 from the British to Maj. Gen. Charles H. Bonesteel, 
U.S. Army, who had arrived the preceding September. 57 

54 Conn and Fairchild, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, pp. 121-29. 

"Memo, Halifax for Secy State, 16 Jun 41, D/S 859A.20.17; Memo/Conv, Welles and 
N. M. Butler, 18 Jun 41, D/S 859A. 20.20-1/12. Although the President indicated that he 
was willing to provide a garrison because of American determination to defend the Western 
Hemisphere, he was not convinced, despite the counsel of some of his advisers, that Iceland 
should be considered in that hemisphere. Dr. Isaiah Bowman had examined the point for him 
and concluded it should be excluded since only a doubtful case could be made. A few years 
later Roosevelt stated, in toasting the President of Iceland, that he had steered clear of a prop- 
osition to put Iceland in the Western Hemisphere. (Memo, Bowman for President, 19 Mar 
41, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 77; Rosenman (compiler), The Public Papers and Addresses 
of Franklin D. Roosevelt, XIII, 236-37. 

56 Memo/Convs, Welles and Halifax, 26 and 28 Jun 41, D/S 859A.20/20-3/12 and /20- 
4/12. Message, Prime Minister to President Roosevelt, 1 Jul 41, EAS, 232. 

" Accounts of the garrisoning of Iceland are to be found in Morison, The Battle of 
the Atlantic, pp. 74-78, and Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations, pp. 487-90. 
The most detailed account including the reasons for the inability of the United Kingdom to 
reduce its garrison during 1941, is given in Stetson Conn, Rose C. Engelman, and Byron 
Fairchild, Guarding the United States and Its Outposts, a volume in preparation for the series 



St. Pierre and Miquelon 

One of the most widely publicized international tempests during World 
War II involved St. Pierre and Miquelon, two small islands just off the 
southern coast of Newfoundland. Subsequent to the fall of France, control 
of the two islands had remained with the Vichy Government. The existence 
on St. Pierre of a high-powered radio transmitter capable of transmitting 
meteorological and other information that could be of great value to Ger- 
many constituted a serious danger to Allied operations in the Atlantic. 

As early as July 1940, the Newfoundland Government had requested 
Canada to occupy the islands or take other action. Canada discussed the 
matter with the United States and indicated that it would consult the United 
States before taking any action. 58 Nothing was done, and the problem 
remained quiescent until the spring of 1941, when the convoy loss rate in the 
northwest Atlantic began to climb sharply. 

During May 1941 Prime Minister King told Pierrepont Moffat, the U.S. 
Minister in Ottawa, that Newfoundland had renewed its request on several 
occasions and that President Roosevelt himself had also asked King what he 
intended to do. The Canadian Government concluded that the only action 
needed was to send a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer to confer with 
the island's authorities and render a report. Canada also reaffirmed its prom- 
ise not to act without consulting the United States. The State Department 
was particularly sensitive to the situation because of its bearing on U.S. policy 
with respect to administration of European colonies in the Western Hemi- 
sphere. In addition, the State Department did not wish to jeopardize the ar- 
rangement under which Vichy French fleet units, notably the aircraft carrier 
Beam, remained neutralized at Martinique. Moffat was accordingly instructed 
to make clear in Ottawa the need for Canadian co-operation in the matter. 59 

Beginning in July 1941 the United Kingdom made repeated suggestions 
to Canada that Free French forces be allowed to proceed to St. Pierre and 
Miquelon to induce them to align themselves with the Free French move- 
ment and General Charles de Gaulle. London did not approach the State 
Department with these proposals, which the Canadian Government had 
discouraged. 60 

At its 10-11 November 1941 meeting the Permanent Joint Board on De- 
fense reviewed the problem of St. Pierre and Miquelon and agreed that "the 

,8 Memo/Conv, Moffat and King, 5 Jul 40, Moffat Diary. 

59 Memo/Convs, Moffat and Robertson, 12 and 28 May 41, 15 and 31 Jul 41, Moffat 
Diary; Ott Leg Telg 188, 17 May 41, D/S 851A.01/10; Ott Leg Desp 1731, 16 Jul 41, D/S 

60 Memo/Convs, Moffat and Robertson, 15 and 31 Jul 41, 3 Nov 41, Moffat Diary. 


existence on the Islands of an uncontrolled and high-powered wireless trans- 
mitting station constituted a potential danger to the interests of Canada and 
the United States."" 1 The problem was also being discussed through diplo- 
matic channels, and the Canadians suggested joint U.S.-Canadian sponsor- 
ship of a team of civilian technicians that would proceed to St. Pierre to 
monitor the radio station operations. Canada solicited the views of both 
Washington and London. King's query to the British Prime Minister re- 
mained unanswered by Churchill, who advanced an alternate plan. General 
de Gaulle himself, heading the French Committee of National Liberation, 
had by now also proposed to Churchill that the Free French seize the islands. 
Churchill saw no objection but asked the Canadian Government to ascertain 
the attitude of the United States. Roosevelt strongly disapproved the pro- 
posed Free French action and asked instead that the proposal ro send a small 

the U.S. objections, the United Kingdom asked the French Committee not 
to take action. 6 ' 

De Gaulle nevertheless ordered his commander of the Free French naval 
force at Halifax to act without informing the Allies. Ostensibly sailing for 
St. John's, the force of three corvettes and the giant submarine Sunviif in- 
stead proceeded to St. Pierre, where it established control on 25 December 
1941. The same day a plebiscite produced a 98 percent vote in favor of 
rallying to the Free French in preference to collaboration with the Axis. 65 

The U.S. Army Newfoundland base commander recommended on 28 
December that the islands be left in Free French control. But on the day 
of the seizure Secretary of State Hull had issued a statement condemning as 
arbitrary, contrary to the agreement of the parties concerned, and without 
ptior knowledge or consent of the United States, the action of the "so-called 
Ftee French" ships/' 4 Hull took up with Canada the feasibility of restoring 
the status quo ante through establishment of a commission of Canadian ex- 
perts to supervise the radio traffic and the withdrawal of the Free French. 
Canada was unwilling to challenge the Free French action and suggested 
that the United States and United Kingdom agree on a solution. Canada 
would be willing to co-operate in the execution of any agreement teached 

61 Journal, PDB 124. 

"Ott Ug Tdg 282, J Nov 41, D/S 851A.74/4; Memo/Conv, Moffat and Keenleyside, 14 
Nov 41, Moffat Diary; Memo, Wrong for Secy State, 5 Dec 41, D/S 35 1A.74/ 12-541; Memo/ 
Conv, Moffat and Robertson, 16 Dec 41, Moffat Diary; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 667. 

"The U.S. consul estimated that even a more neutrally worded choice would have given 
the Free French a 75 percent majority. (Desp 79, 26 Dec 41, D/S 851A/00/48.) 

M Informal Rpt, NBC, 28 Dec 41, PDB 104-5; Department of State Bulletin, December 27, 
1941. V, 580, 



by them. 55 Churchill, then in Washington, said he would be agreeable to 
any arrangement that would be acceptable to General de Gaulle. But 
Churchill's attitude, as exemplified by his speech in Ottawa on 30 December 
extolling de Gaulle's followers, did not appear to be designed to induce co- 
operative concessions from de Gaulle. After President Roosevelt let it be 
known that he would not back up State Department demands that the Free 
French be evicted and the status quo ante be restored, a solution acceptable 
to Churchill, Hull, and de Gaulle appeared impossible. 66 

Secretary Hull's attitude and his reference to the "so-called" Free French 
came under heavy public attack, even in the United States. In Canada it 
evoked considerable unfavorable publicity. In part, this was due to an accu- 
mulation of resentment over the U.S. attitude on a number of questions, 
including U.S. failure to discuss Pacific problems with the Canadian Govern- 
ment before the Pearl Harbor attack and U.S. opposition to Canadian par- 
ticipation at the Rio de Janeiro inter-American meeting. 67 

Although the Canadian Government was embarrassed by the Free French 
action, for the contrary assurances given by the Free French commander in 
Ottawa had been relayed to Washington through the Department of Exter- 
nal Affairs, it took no positive position. To State Department officers, the 
Canadian attitude appeared to be casual and unconcerned. As for King, he 
had had nothing to do with the matter and only wanted it settled. By the 
end of January Hull had decided that the wisest course was to let the matter 
rest. 68 


Despite the hope of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Mackenzie 
King, as expressed in the Ogdensburg Declaration, that defense problems 
could be jointly examined on a hemisphere basis, such joint examination 
was faced with complications in regard to the defense needs of the two coun- 
tries themselves, let alone the contiguous areas of North and South America. 
There were several reasons for these complications. One was the simple 
fact that before Pearl Harbor Canada was a belligerent while the United 
States was a neutral. A second was Canada's membership in the British 
Commonwealth, which would not permit an unqualified allegiance to a 
hemisphere standard. 

oS Memo/Conv, Moffat and Dunn, 25 Dec 41, Moffat Diary; Memo/Conv, Hull and King, 
27 Dec 41, D/S 581A.O0/50. 

66 See Conn and Fairchild, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, Ch. VII. 

67 Ott Leg Telg 4, 7 Jan 42, D/S 851A.01/13. 

68 Ott Leg Telg 313, 25 Dec 41, D/S 851A.01/17; Memo/Conv, Berle and McCarthy, 3 
Jan 42, D/S 851A.01/65; Hull, Memoirs, II, 1137. A number of accounts of this problem are 
available. See Hull, Memoirs, II, 1127-38; Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, Ch. XXI; Langer 
and Gleason, The Challenge to Isolation, pp. 212-26; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 666-67. 



Before Pearl Harbor the United States' front line of defense was the coast 
line of the Americas and their offshore waters. With Canadian troops de- 
ployed overseas, Canada considered its front line to be in Europe. From the 
military point of view, the United States saw merit in efforts designed to 
increase the military strength and programs of the Latin American countries. 
In considering the wishes of the United States that Canada join in encour- 
aging these efforts, Canada was inclined to view expenditures of military 
resources in Latin America as diversions of critical means to a secondary 
area. Only from a political and longer-range economic point of view could 
the development of Canada's relations with the Latin American states make 
sense to Canada. 

The neutral United States also considered Canadian and Commonwealth 
defensive measures in the Western Hemisphere in terms of their impact on 
the U.S. policy of neutrality, whereas British and Canadian plans vis-a-vis 
areas such as Greenland, St. Pierre and Miquelon, and other European pos- 
sessions in the Western Hemisphere were based on the needs of their 
belligerent status. Because of this fundamental pre-Pearl Harbor split, it 
was impossible for the two countries to unite in the establishment of a com- 
mon policy that would motivate jointly desired actions throughout the 

After Pearl Harbor the encouragement of closer Canadian relations with 
Latin America ceased to be useful to the United States, which could either 
offer to Latin America the material support needed to carry out the desired 
military measures or take them itself. Under these circumstances, and from 
the longer-range point of view, the growth of Canadian and Commonwealth 
interest in Latin America would not accord with U.S. political and economic 
objectives, and it was therefore not encouraged. 


Operations in the Eastern Areas 

In the pre-Pearl Harbor period the primary focus of military co-operation 
between the United States and Canada was on Newfoundland and adjacent 
northeastern North America. Although the Japanese threat was not disre- 
garded, the operational requirements of the European war and the Battle of 
the Atlantic after the fall of France were immediate and absorbed most of 
the modest ground and air forces available to the two countries. For Canada 
this meant that forces had to be deployed to coastal areas, Iceland, and Great 
Britain. For the United States it meant that mobile reserves had to be held 
in readiness to meet and repel the first signs of aggression anywhere in the 
Western Hemisphere. 

The defense needs of the British territory of Newfoundland, the North 
American outpost on the sea and air approaches to eastern Canada and the 
adjacent United States, were a matter of great concern to Canada. On the 
eve of Canadian entry into the European war Prime Minister King told the 
House of Commons that the integrity of Newfoundland and Laborador was 
essential to the security of Canada and that he had already obtained British 
agreement to Canadian participation in the defense of Newfoundland. Not 
long after the Canadian declaration of war on 10 September 1939, Canada 
took initial steps to aid in Newfoundland's defense. 1 

Although U.S. joint war plans had earlier recognized the need for off- 
shore bases in the Caribbean and other Atlantic areas, U.S. interest in the 
Newfoundland area developed only after the fall of France. During the 
summer and fall of 1940 the British-American destroyer-bases negotiations 
resulted in the interjection of the United States into the Newfoundland de- 
fense scheme. 2 The fall of France also gave considerable impetus to the scope 
of Canadian participation in the defense of Newfoundland. 

The Lease and Construction of Newfoundland Bases 

While the French and British armies on the Continent were crumbling 
before the German blitzkrieg and the British defensive situation was dete- 
riorating rapidly, Prime Minister Churchill on 15 May began his efforts to 

' H - ^Debates, 8 Sep 39, p. 35. See |Ch. ivj above. 
2 See |Ch. 1,| above. 



induce the United States to transfer some of its World War I destroyers to 
the British. During the next few months, as Britain and its Atlantic lines 
of communications lay exposed to the German war machine, repeated re- 
quests were to be made by Churchill to U.S. Ambassador Kennedy in Lon- 
don and to President Roosevelt himself. The question whether or not the 
destroyers should be loaned or transferred was debated at length in the 
United States. 3 

One arrangement examined at the suggestion of President Roosevelt, and 
of particular interest to this study, would have provided for sale of the de- 
stroyers to Canada on condition that they be used only in the Western 
Hemisphere. This arrangement would have aided Britain since it would 
have released Commonwealth ships for other purposes. In addition, it would 
have relieved the United States of some of its naval patrol responsibilities. 4 

The fall of France also resulted in more active consideration in U.S. mili- 
tary and political circles of the need for Atlantic bases in the defense of the 
Western Hemisphere. On 29 May 1940 Army Chief of Staff Marshall dis- 
cussed with Under Secretary of State Welles the desirability of quickly estab- 
lishing U.S. forces in the British possessions of the Western Hemisphere, 
"exclusive of Canada and Labrador," should the German victory threaten 
their surrender or cession. He proposed that the matter be discussed with 
Great Britain.'' On 24 June General Marshall, accompanied by Chief of 
Naval Operations Stark, presented a joint estimate of the situation to Presi- 
dent Roosevelt that reiterated the need for strategic bases in the Caribbean 
and Latin American areas. Even at this time the War and Navy Depart- 
ments did not foresee the need for U.S. bases in Newfoundland or Canada. 

With the services pressing for bases on the one hand and Churchill plead- 
ing for destroyers on the other, President Roosevelt at the beginning of 
August decided to tie the two propositions together. A renewed plea by 
Churchill on 31 July for the destroyers gave the President the opportunity to 
propose a trade to the British Prime Minister and in addition to seek new 
assurances concerning the British Fleet as part of the arrangement. Churchill 
responded favorably and expressed a willingness to grant limited rights to 

3 For accounts of negotiations and debates, see Conn and Fairchild, The Framework of Hemi- 
sphere Defense, Ch. II, and Langer and Gleason, The Challenge to Isolation. Ch. XXII. See 
also Kittredge Monograph, Vol. I, Sec. II, and Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., Lend-Lease: Weapon 
for Victory (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1944), pp. 33-43. Mr. Churchill's account is 
in Their Finest Hour, pp. 24-25, 188-89, and 401-14. 

4 Memo, for Secy Navy, 22 Jul 40, in F. D. R., His Personal Letters, II, 1049. 

5 The quotation is from WPD Memo, 27 May 40, WPD 4175 -9, on which General Mar- 
shall noted: "Proposed to Mr. Welles in person, GCM." See also |Ch. T| above. 



utilize portions of selected air and naval bases. 6 On 13 August the President 
met with Mr. Welles and Secretaries Stimson, Knox, and Morgenthau and 
worked out a detailed plan, which was sent to Churchill, proposing the transfer 
of fifty destroyers and other materiel in return for the right, to (a) acquire 
land by purchase or ninety-nine-year lease for the establishment of bases, and 
(b) utilize the bases at once for training purposes and, in event of attack on 
the Western Hemisphere, for operational purposes. 7 Two days later, on 15 
August, Churchill indicated his agreement to ninety-nine-year leases subject 
to consultation with Newfoundland and Canada about the Newfoundland 
base, in which he said, Canada had an interest. 8 

The proposals continued to be studied in London and Washington while 
the necessary consultations took place. In Washington, some of the Presi- 
dent's close advisers again suggested an initial transfer of the destroyers to 
Canada rather than directly to the United Kingdom, but Secretary of War 
Stimson pushed aside this idea as a discreditable subterfuge. In London, the 
Prime Minister discussed the provisions of the arrangement in the Parliament 
and with his Cabinet. On 22 August Churchill advised the President that 
his government wished to offer the base facilities without strings, and not as 
a trade for the destroyers. Since Roosevelt felt he had no authority to give 
the destroyers without compensation, discussions continued for a few days 
on this point until a formula satisfying both governments was found. The 
final agreement, embodied in an exchange of notes on 2 September 1940, 
provided that the base rights in Newfoundland and Bermuda were given 
"freely and without consideration." The other base rights, in the Caribbean 
area, were granted in exchange for the fifty over-age American destroyers. 9 

Another aspect of the transaction involved the U.S. request for assurances 
that, should the waters surrounding the British Isles become untenable, the 
British Fleet would in no event be either surrendered or sunk but would be 
sent overseas for the defense of other parts of the British Empire. The 
Prime Minister had already given such a pledge in Parliament on 4 June, and 
he objected initially, for psychological reasons, to a public reiteration. 
Nevertheless, since Roosevelt felt that concurrent assurances were a necessary 
adjunct to the arrangement, the British gave them by answering in the 

''Morison, The Battle of the Atlantic, pp. 33-34; Churchill, Then Finest Hour, pp. 403-06; 
Memo, Lothian for Secy State, 8 Aug 40, D/S 811.34544/1-6/12. 

7 Stimson and Bundy, On Active Service, p. 356; D/S Telg 2316, to London, 13 Aug 40, 
D/S 811.34544/1-6/12. 

" Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 406-07. 

''Stimson and Bundy, On Active Service, p. 357; Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 408-13. 
The exchange of notes is in EAS, 235. According to Secretary of State Hull, the successful 
formula was proposed by Green H. Hackworth, his legal adviser. 



affirmative the U.S. inquiry as to whether Churchill's 4 June statement rep- 
resented "the settled policy of the British Government." 10 

The delivery of the destroyers began at once. British crews took over 
the first eight at Halifax on 6 September. The fifty 1,200-ton destroyers 
plus ten "Lake" class Coast Guard cutters well suited for escort work were 
delivered by 10 April 1941. Shortly after delivery began, it was announced 
that six of the destroyers would be commissioned in the Royal Canadian 
Navy. Named after rivers along the U.S.-Canadian border {Annapolis, Co- 
lumbia, St. Croix, St. Clair, St. Francis, and Niagara), they brought the strength 
of the Canadian destroyer fleet to thirteen. A seventh destroyer, the Hamil- 
ton, was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy after some service with the 
Royal Navy." 

Concerning the bases, the 2 September agreement provided that 

a. i he Newfoundland bases would be on the southern coast and on 
the Avalon Peninsula. 

b. The bases would be on land leased for ninety-nine years free from 
all rent and charges except for compensation of private property owners. 12 

c. The exact location and bounds of the bases and the adjustment of 
the U.S. jurisdiction within the leased areas with that of the Newfoundland 
Government would be worked out by common agreement. 

d. The United States would have all the rights and authority, within 
the bases and the adjacent waters and airspace, necessary to provide access 
thereto, and defense and control thereof. 13 

Before the exchange of notes, the consultations between London, Ottawa, 
St. John's, and Washington had gone into the question of the locations of 
the Newfoundland bases. United States service planners had recommended 
the lease of existing naval air facilities at Botwood and Gander Lake, naval 
facilities at St. John's, and the Newfoundland (Gander) Airport, plus sites 
at St. John's, and on the southeast coast for an Army and a Navy base re- 

Department of State Bulletin, September 7, 1940, III, 195. The assurances were sought 
by the President to help make the strongest case for the destroyer transfer since he was being 
severely criticized by many as having exceeded his authority. Sherwood (Roosevelt and Hopkins, 
p. 274) believes that the President considered impeachment to be a possible consequence. Some 
of the pro and con views on the transaction are set forth in the following articles in the A?ner- 
ican Journal of International Law. XXXIV (1940): Edwin Borchard, "The Attorney General's 
Opinion in the Exchange of Destroyers for Naval Bases," 690-97; Herbert W. Briggs, 
"Neglected Aspects of the Destroyer Deal," 569-87; and Quincy Wright, "The Transfer of 
Destroyers to Great Britain," 680-89. 

" Morison, The Battle of the Atlantic, pp. 34-36; Schull, The Far Distant Ships, p. 56. 

12 In August 1943 the British Government offered to assume even these costs as a reverse 
lend-lease charge, and the offer was accepted. 

"EAS, 235; Department of State Bulletin, August 14, 1943, IX, 97. 



spectively. As a result of British and Canadian representations, Newfound- 
land Airport, already garrisoned by a Canadian Army infantry battalion and 
an RCAF flight of reconnaissance aircraft, was specifically excluded by Presi- 
dent Roosevelt, who instead designated the areas that appeared in the agree- 
ment. 14 The Canadian and Newfoundland Governments approved the pro- 
posed locations and arrangements, although the Newfoundland Government 
actually granted approval on the day after the exchange of notes, 3 September. 

By this time a board of U.S. service officers headed by Rear Adm. John 
W. Greenslade had been organized to work out with British experts the 
exact locations at all the ninety-nine-year-lease base sites. The Greenslade 
Board proceeded to Newfoundland, arriving there on 16 September, made its 
broad survey, and submitted its recommendations to Vice Adm. Walwyn, 
Governor of Newfoundland, on 20 September. It recommended a joint 
Army-Navy base on Placentia Bay, naval facilities and an Army base at St. 
John's and an air base near Stephenville for staging aircraft through the 
Maritime Provinces to eastern Newfoundland. The Greenslade Board also 
recommended that the lease agreement authorize the United States to use all 
harbors, anchorages, and airfields in Newfoundland. Admiral Walwyn ac- 
cepted the proposals in principle, with generous reservations to meet British 
and Canadian observations that might be forthcoming. 15 On the recom- 
mendation of the Greenslade Board a team of thirty engineers of the U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers, designated the Newfoundland Engineer District 
Office, arrived at St. John's on 13 October to make the detailed hydrographic 
and topographic surveys of the designated base sites. 

By the beginning of 1941 the surveys, general and detailed, had been 
completed in Newfoundland and at all the other base sites, and a team of 
U.S. officials proceeded to London to work out the technical aspects of the 
leases. The technical discussions began on 25 January. During the ensuing 
weeks it was necessary for the negotiators to bridge an initially wide gulf. 
The approval of the Lend-Lease Act on 11 March had a beneficial effect on 
the negotiations, which were concluded on 27 March by the signing of a 
second leased-bases agreement setting forth the details of the leases. 16 

The agreement granted the United States, inter alia, 
a. All the rights, power, and authority within (1) the leased areas 

M JPC Rpt, 28 Aug 40, sub: Base Sites and Facilities, WPD 4351-5; Memo, SUSAM for 
ACofS WPD, 28 Feb 42, WPD 4351-9; Note for Record, 8 Jul 41, PDB 107-17. 

n Journal, 27 Aug 40 PJBD meeting, PDB 124;Telg, from U. S. Consul General, St. John's 
4 Sep 40, D/S 811.34544/14; Rpt, Board of Experts to Secy Navy, 24 Sep 40, WPD 4351-9; 
Ltr, to Greenslade, 21 Sep 40, WPD 4351-9- 

16 For an account of these negotiations, see Conn, Engelman, and Fairchild, Guarding the 
United States and Its Outposts. 



necessary for the establishment, use, operation, and defense thereof, or appro- 
priate for their control, and (2) the limits of territorial waters and adjacent 
airspaces necessary to provide access to and defense of the leased areas, or 
appropriate for control thereof. 

b. When at war or during other emergency, all such rights, power, and 
authority as might be necessary for conducting military operations through- 
out Newfoundland and surrounding waters or airspaces. 

c. Jurisdiction over all persons committing military offenses within the 
areas and over non-British subjects committing such offenses outside them. 

d. Miscellaneous corollary rights as to the use of public services, con- 
duct of surveys, immigration customs and other duties, postal facilities, and 

e. The same rights and status for U.S. forces outside the leased areas 
under the agreements enjoyed by forces within these areas. 

f. The right to acquire such additional areas as necessary for the use and 
protection of the bases. 17 

Pursuant to the 2 September 1940 and 27 March 1941 agreements, the 
Commission of Government for Newfoundland on 14 June 1941 leased to 
the United States 3,392 acres at Argentia (this parcel was- to become Fort 
McAndrew and the adjacent naval base); 198.36 acres at Quidi Vidi, adja- 
cent to St. John's (Fort Pepperrell); 27.57 acres at White Hills (near Fort 
Pepperrell for a radio tower area); 2.5 acres on St. John's harbor for a U.S. 
Army supply dock; and 867 acres at Stephenville (Harmon Field). 18 

Even before the leases were signed, construction at the Newfoundland 
bases had been initiated under authority granted by the United Kingdom on 
11 November 1940. As a matter of fact, the U.S. Army, using local labor, 
had begun in October the construction of temporary housing, including bar- 
racks for 1,000 troops, and of administrative facilities at Fort Pepperrell. 
Permanent construction was begun on 30 December 1940 under the direc- 
tion of the District Engineer. On 8 February 1941 the U.S. Army concluded 
a contract with Newfoundland Base Contractors, a company comprising three 
U.S. concerns as joint contractors, which assumed the responsibility for the 
Fort Pepperrell work on 19 May. Temporary construction was started at 
Harmon Field and Fort McAndrew on 10 and 18 March 1941, respectively, 
and the Newfoundland Base Contractors took over the work at these bases 
on 7 April and 5 May 1941. 19 

17 EAS, 235; CTS, 1941, No. 2. 

18 The data in this and the next few paragraphs are from Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic 

19 Ltr, Neville Butler to Knox, 11 Nov 40, Roosevelt Papers Secy's File, Box 59. 
Division, U. S. Army Bases: Newfoundland. 



The initial plan for the three Army bases called for accommodations for 
garrisons of 3,500 troops at Fort Pepperrell, 2,000 at Fort McAndrew, and 
250 at Harmon Field where an emergency landing field was to be built. 
The cost of the planned housing, auxiliary buildings, and utilities was esti- 
mated in 1940 as approximately $28,000,000. In early 1942 the plans were 
changed to provide accommodations for 5,500, 7,500, and 2,800 troops re- 
spectively, and to include a permanent landing field at Harmon Field com- 
prising three concrete runways 150 feet wide and from 5,000 to 6,000 feet 
long. A large part of the augmentation was the result of the decision to re- 
tain and utilize the temporary housing that had been constructed. Work 
was completed at Fort Pepperrell on 15 March 1943, at Fort McAndrew on 
3 March 1943, and at Harmon Field on 1 March 1943. The actual final cost 
of construction for the Army bases (including Harmon Field) totaled 

On 1 September 1943 Harmon Field entered upon a new phase. On 
that date the airfield passed to the jurisdiction of the Air Transport Com- 
mand, which began to use it as a major base for its North Atlantic opera- 
tions. A new development program was undertaken that lasted through 
most of 1944, the principal features of which were construction of two large 
hangars and extension of the existing runways. The enlarged base played a 
prominent role in Air Transport Command 'operations. 

At Argentia, adjacent to Fort McAndrew, the U.S. Navy Department had 
begun construction of a naval air station on 29 December 1940. 20 Civilian 
contractors completed the air station in early 1942, when the decision was 
made to construct a complete naval operating base. Until housing could be 
erected for the 1,500 Americans and 4,000 Newfoundlanders who were ulti- 
mately to be engaged on this project, the SS Richard Peck, after its arrival on 
9 January 1941, had housed some of the former, while the initial local labor 
force had lived in fishing schooners anchored in the harbor. In October 
1942 a Navy construction battalion was sent to Argentia, and, after an addi- 
tional battalion had arrived, the civilian contractors were relieved in May 
1943. The major facilities developed at Argentia included three airfield run- 
ways 5,000 feet long (later lengthened), storage for 15,000,000 gallons of 
gasoline and oil, over 2,000 feet of wharf, a 7,000-ton floating dry dock, 
hangars, workshops and supply storage buildings, and the housing and other 
administrative facilities required for the garrison. 

Construction undertakings of such magnitude naturally had a major im- 

20 For a full account of the development of the U. S. Navy facilities in Newfoundland, see 
U. S. Navy Department, Bureau of Yards and Docks, Building the Navy' s Bases in World War 
II (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1947), II, 47-54. 



pact on the native Newfoundlanders and their economy. Some effects were 
adverse. One early unhappy effect was the need in the fall of 1941 to evacu- 
ate the civilians occupying the Harmon Field base to permit runway con- 
struction to proceed. Other effects were beneficial. To the limited extent 
permitted by the relatively undeveloped state of Newfoundland resources 
and industry, materials were procured locally. The projects did provide ex- 
tensive employment for Newfoundlanders, principally in the common labor 
category. At the peak of Army base construction, 82 percent of the workers 
were Newfoundlanders. They were paid at lower rates than the Americans, 
the pay scales having been established in co-operation with the Newfound- 
land Commissioner of Public Works and in conformity with the prevailing 
local rates. From the contractor's point of view, local labor was less satis- 
factory than U.S. labor for several reasons. Newfoundlanders were less 
skilled, and also made work scheduling difficult through their proclivity for 
long week ends and their unwillingness to work during the summer fishing 
season and the bad winter weather. Nevertheless, their employment at the 
lower pay scales resulted in lower costs for the construction. By August 
1941 the rate of additional income for the island was estimated at $3,000,000 
per month. 

The establishment of the bases and the mflux of almost 10,000 Ameri- 
cans brought other problems, too. Difficulties arose in the application of 
the jurisdiction and customs and taxes provisions of the bases agreement. 
These difficulties were worked out with the Newfoundland Government 
Commissioners in good spirit. Some excesses on the part of Americans took 
place as well as some price gouging by Newfoundlanders. But on the whole 
excellent relationships prevailed. The Americans participated and co-oper- 
ated in the social and cultural activities of St. John's and established many 
friendships with local families. The activities of U.S. Public Health Service 
officers, together with those of medical officers of the Canadian and U.S. 
forces, contributed to a rise in the general health level, which had suffered 
from widespread dietary deficiencies, tuberculosis, and other factors. 

As U.S. requirements at the bases became clearer, advantage was taken of 
Article XXVII of the 27 March 1941 agreement to obtain additional land 
areas through supplemental leases. The negotiations were carried on be- 
tween Washington, London, and the Newfoundland Government in St. 
John's, with Canada playing only a minor and indirect role. A first supple- 
ment, filed in early 1941 and signed on 14 July 1942, added 2,142 acres to the 
original 4,487. The United States submitted a second supplement providing 
for approximately 10,000 additional acres just before the first supplement was 
signed. Because of introduction of changes and differences between State 



and War Department officers as to the scope of the supplement, the U.S. re- 
quirement did not become firm until early 1944. Thereafter negotiations 
languished for numerous reasons, including criticism by the Newfoundland 
Government of the 1 October 1944 ninety-nine-year lease arrangement with 
Canada and the postwar uncertainty as to the status of Newfoundland. The 
second supplement was finally approved on 21 August 1948. With this ap- 
proval, wartime negotiations in connection with the leased-bases agreement 
ended and no further changes were required. 21 

Defending Newfoundland 

In the pre-Pearl Harbor period when Canada and the United States de- 
ployed forces to Newfoundland the troops of both countries became, in 
effect, tenants on the territory of a third state. This fact presented some 
complications, at least from the U.S. point of view, in the timely establish- 
ment of the garrisons and provision of operating facilities. The Canadian 
military position in Newfoundland had developed progressively from the 
outbreak of the European war until August 1940, when informal but broad 
arrangements were worked out by Canadian authorities with the Newfound- 
land Commission. Under these and the earlier arrangements, Canada had 
disposed forces in Newfoundland and had undertaken the construction of 
such facilities as were necessary. Since the Canadian forces were stationed 
at locations such as Newfoundland Airport and St. John's harbor, where the 
major essential installations like runways and docks were already in existence, 
they could immediately become operational, and the construction require- 
ments were largely in augmentation of the existing basic facilities. 22 

21 With the addition of Newfoundland to Canada as a new province on 1 April 1949, the 
provisions of the leased-bases agreement and the supplemental leases were after that date to 
become the subject of extensive discussions between Ottawa and Washington. 

22 Subsequent Canadian construction in Newfoundland included a naval base at St. John's 
and a subsidiary naval repair base at Bay Bulls, a short distance to the south, the latter on land 
leased for ninety-nine years. Title to the St. John's base, which was built at Canadian expense 
and administered by the Royal Canadian Navy, was vested in the British Admiralty. Under 
the Air Bases Agreement concluded on 17 April 1941, Canada built a fighter base at Torbay, 
near St. John's, seaplane bases at Botwood and Gleneagles, and additional facilities at New- 
foundland Airport. Under the postwar agreement disposing of the air facilities, Canada trans- 
ferred control and operation of Botwood, Gleneagles, and Newfoundland Airport to the 
Newfoundland Government. Canada was paid one million dollars for the facilities constructed 
at Newfoundland Airport, and it retained the right to recapture this base in event of hostilities. 
Canada retained title in fee simple to the Torbay fighter base, as had been provided in the April 
1941 agreement, with a view to using it as a commercial airport between Canada and New- 
foundland. (See CTS, 1946, No. 15, and Heather J. Harvey, Consultation and Co-operation in 
the Commonwealth (New York: Oxford University Press, 1952), pp. 373-78). The 1946 post- 
war disposition ceased to have significance after the union of Newfoundland with Canada on 3 1 
March 1949. Goose Bay Airport, whose construction was undertaken by Canada in August 
1941, was covered by arrangements other than the Air Bases Agreement of 1941. The Goose 
Bay arrangements are discussed later in this chapter. 



Since President Roosevelt had acquiesced in the Canadian and British re- 
quests that none of the available facilities be included within the U.S. leased 
areas, the sites leased to the United States were completely undeveloped. In 
order to garrison and utilize the leased bases the United States had first to 
construct the operational and administrative facilities required. Because of 
construction difficulties, the development of the air and naval facilities would 
require one to two years or more, thus denying to the United States the 
operational use of the bases for that period. Even before the base-agreement 
notes had been signed in September 1940, the Permanent Joint Board on 
Defense had on 27 August approved its Second Recommendation, which in- 
cluded provisions for construction of facilities for use by U.S. forces that 
would be deployed to Newfoundland only when and if circumstances required. 
Under these provisions, which accorded with the Canadian concept as to the 
need for U.S. forces in Newfoundland, Canada was to undertake to prepare 
facilities for forty-eight U.S. patrol seaplanes and seventy-three land planes. 23 

At the time the Board approved its First Report on 4 October 1940, no 
action had been initiated pursuant to the provisions of the Second Recom- 
mendation, and it therefore incorporated similar provisions in the report. 24 
Although the First Report had been approved, action had not yet been taken 
toward preparing base facilities when, on 30 November, the Secretary of 
War requested that the base sites under negotiation with the United King- 
dom be increased to include land adjacent to the Newfoundland Airport for 
the purpose of deploying a tactical air group, with a strength of seventy- 
three aircraft, as soon as facilities could be constructed. 25 

This arrangement was discussed at the Permanent Joint Board meeting 
on 17 December 1940, together with the alternative (preferred by Canada) 
of having Canada (a) provide the facilities, and (b) allow their use on an 
informal basis for operational training. When advised by U.S. Chairman 
LaGuardia that this alternative was acceptable, President Roosevelt approved 
it and directed the War Department to submit its requirements. The facilities 
requirements, submitted to and discussed with RCAF officers in the latter half 
of January 1941, comprised twelve hangars, twenty 136-man barracks, and aux- 
iliary construction, the estimated cost of which totaled $4,569,670 (U.S.). The 
Canadian authorities estimated that housing for two squadrons would be 
available by 1 May 194l and the balance of the facilities by early autumn. 26 

" Appendix~A] below. 
24 Appendix"Bl below. 

« Ltr, SW and Secy Navy to President, 30 Jan 41, WPD 4404. 

26 Ibid.; Memo, Bissell to Embick, 26 Dec 40; Ltr, SW to LaGuardia, 17 Jan 41; Ltr, Lt 
Col H. L. Clark to ACofS WPD, n.d., reporting on conferences 26-31 Jan 41; all in WPD 



The circumstances of the actual deployment of U.S. air elements to New- 
foundland Airport have already been recited." By autumn 1941, the facili- 
ties constructed by Canada for the United States exceeded the requirements 
of the U.S. forces actually there. A minor hiatus occurred when Canada ex- 
pressed a desire to use these surplus facilities until they were needed by the 
United States. The latter replied that they could not be made available 
since additional forces were being readied for dispatch to the airport and 
would require the facilities upon arrival. Nevertheless, according to the 
U.S. commander, the RCAF not only converted many such buildings to its 
own use but also gave the remaining construction for the United States a 
low priority. The Permanent Joint Board at its November meeting con- 
sidered the situation and acted to rectify it. Having agreed that the interna- 
tional situation made it desirable that the United States reinforce its air gar- 
rison at Gander Airport (as Newfoundland Airport had been redesignated), 
and having noted that the United States was prepared to do this, the Board 
concluded that Canada should make available without delay the completed 
facilities that had been constructed for the United States and should expedite 
the uncompleted construction. The United States suggested the employ- 
ment of Army Engineer units to assist in completing the construction, but 
the RCAF on the advice of labor experts strongly advised against it, and the 
proposal was dropped. 28 After Pearl Harbor the discussions became aca- 
demic, since the new situation resulted in the diversion of the squadron of 
B-17B aircraft originally destined for Gander and in the revision of plans for 
dispatching additional units to Newfoundland. 

In approving the Permanent Joint Board's First Report in the fall of 1940, 
Canada had also undertaken to provide facilities in Newfoundland for three 
squadrons of U.S. patrol seaplanes. In January 1941 the Board had recom- 
mended that the provision of facilities for at least one squadron at Botwood 
should be given the most urgent priority. In the following months this 
work was initiated, and by the summer of 1941 clearing had been completed 
and construction was in progress. Finally, the Board had, in its First Re- 
port, indicated that a new fighter base would be required in the vicinity of 
St. John's to meet the joint defense needs in Newfoundland. Work had 
been begun in the spring of 1941 at Torbay, and by the end of that year the 
airport was operational. Canada extended the use of this airport to the 

- 7 See |Ch. IVJ above. 

28 Memo, ACofS WPD for SUSAM, 21 Oct 41, PDB 107-9; Ltr, CG NBC to DCofS, 29 
Oct 41, PDB 104-5; Journal, 20-21 Nov and 20 Dec 41 PJBD meetings, PDB 124; 
Memo/Conv, Moffat and Keenleyside, 12 Aug 41, Moffat Diary. A letter of 25 November 
1941 (Heakes to Bissell, PDB 107-9) outlined the measures being taken to make five hangars 
available to the U.S. Army by the end of December. 



United States as expedient and necessary as an alternate airport and for 
servicing purposes.' 9 

Shortly after Pearl Harbor the U.S. Section of the Permanent Joint Board 
asked if the United States could permanently station its own servicing de- 
tachment at Torbay. However, in line with the Canadian determination to 
retain the predominant role on the Newfoundland defense scene and to limit 
the U.S. role, the proposal was coolly received; it was made clear that Canada 
did not wish U.S. personnel stationed there. This position was later modi- 
fied, and in May 1943 the Canadian Government approved U.S. construction 
of servicing facilities there, provided that they were placed on land acquired 
by Canada and that the contracts were approved by the RCAF. These pro- 
visos were apparently not to U.S. liking, for the United States withdrew its 
request, citing as the reason (and thereby contradicting a statement on the 
subject made one month earlier) the fact that the facilities were no longer a 
wartime necessity since the U.S. AAF antisubmarine force in Newfoundland 
would be reduced in the near future. 30 

In the period immediately after Pearl Harbor both Canada and United 
States continued to enlarge their garrisons in Newfoundland as the construc- 
tion of facilities and the availability of forces permitted. Canada augmented 
the infantry defenses of each of the RCAF bases by a special airdrome de- 
fense platoon equipped with tracked carriers for high mobility. The Cana- 
dian Army likewise provided antiaircraft defense for St. John's and for Tor- 
bay and Gander Airports and harbor defenses at St. John's, Bell Island, and 
Botwood. These augmentations brought the Canadian Army strength to a 
1943 peak of approximately 5,700. 

During 1942 the U.S. Army added an infantry battalion, four harbor de- 
fense artillery batteries, and six antiaircraft gun batteries. Platoons of two 
155-mm. guns each were stationed at Harmon Field and Fort McAndrew, 
those at the latter site augmenting the two 6-inch gun batteries installed by 
the U.S. Navy. The infantry garrison was principally divided between Forts 
Pepperrell and McAndrew, with one reinforced company stationed at Harmon. 
The U.S. Army garrison (including air units) reached its peak strength of 
10,882 in 1943. 

A draft agreement negotiated after Pearl Harbor provided that the fol- 
lowing U.S. forces might be made available on the call of the commander 
of Canada's Atlantic Command upon approval of the Commanding General, 
Eastern Defense Command, for reinforcing Newfoundland and the Maritime 

29 lAppendixTTl below; ABC-22. 

50 Ltr, Bissell to Brant, 30 Dec 41; Ltr, Hickerson co SUSAM, 20 May 42; Ltr, ACofS OPD 
to SUSAM, 14 Jun 43; all in PDB 107-3. 



Provinces: one composite bombardment group and one pursuit squadron for 
Newfoundland and/or Nova Scotia; one infantry division, reinforced and 
motorized, and one mobile antiaircraft regiment for eastern Canada. 31 Al- 
though the agreement was not formally approved, it at least furnished a 
planning basis for reinforcing Newfoundland and the Maritime Provinces 
should such action become necessary. Some minor local liaison and admin- 
istrative co-operation was carried out, but there was no significant opera- 
tional co-operation between Canada and the United States in regard to the 
ground and air defense of the Maritime Provinces, or of New England. Pur- 
suant to the Third Recommendation and the First Report of the Permanent 
Joint Board, the two countries undertook to develop certain defense and re- 
lated facilities in this area, including the expansion by Canada of airfields in 
the Maritimes, so as to provide for the operations of forty-eight patron sea- 
planes and a composite wing of 200 land planes. Both countries proceeded 
with the execution of appropriate projects, rendering progress reports thereon 
at the meetings of the Permanent Joint Board. Insofar as they were planned 
for joint use in emergency operations in the Maritimes, the projects never 
came into use. 

Enemy activity in the immediate vicinity of Newfoundland and its terri- 
torial waters never exceeded nuisance proportions. As the German sub- 
marine offensive moved closer to North American shores in the spring of 
1942, the patrol and bomber aircraft based on Newfoundland began to 
assume an increasingly important role in the Battle of the Atlantic, but the 
rest of the Newfoundland garrisons were not called upon for an active de- 
fense role. As early as the spring of 1942, it was believed that German 
submarines not only were using inlets for night surfacing and battery charg- 
ing but also making reconnaissances of Conception, Placentia, and St. 
Georges Bays and adjacent installations. Several attacks on enemy sub- 
marines were made by destroyer and aircraft, but no positive successes could 
be reported." 

The vulnerability of the city of St. John's was always a source of concern 
to the U.S. commander there. The predominantly wooden dwellings and 
the congestion of shipping in the harbor and of materials and supplies on the 
docks and in adjacent warehouses presented an excellent target for an in- 

" Memo, ACofS OPD for SUSAM, 8 Apr 42, PDB 135-2. 

12 It was during this period that German submarines penetrated the mouth of the St. Law- 
rence River, and, in the five months following May 12, torpedoed 23 ships with the loss of 700 
lives and 70,000 tons of shipping. For a full account of these forays, which had a substan- 
tial psychological impact on the communities along the river banks, see Jack MacNaught, "The 
Battle of the St. Lawrence," Maclean's Magazine, LXII (15 October 1949), 7, 68-70, and (1 
November 1949), 22, 47-49. 



cendiary attack. Fortunately an attack never materialized. In March 1942 
the enemy fired two torpedoes which detonated on either side of the harbor 
entrance. In September and December of the same year a German sub- 
marine ventured into Conception Bay and on each occasion sank two ore 
boats. A year later, in October 1943, the enemy mined the approaches to 
St. John's harbor, presumably by submarine, necessitating minesweeping 
operations over a period of several weeks. One of the effects of enemy 
activity in adjacent Atlantic waters was the loss through sinkings of con- 
struction materials having a value of $550,000 and representing 3 percent 
of the materials imported for U.S. construction projects. 

In mid-1943, with the beginning of a clear trend toward the reduction 
of German capabilities in the vicinity of Newfoundland, both Canada and 
the United States began to reduce their garrisons. By the end of 1943, the 
U.S. force, which had six months earlier exceeded 10,000, was reduced to 
5,000. The major unit withdrawn was the 3d Infantry Regiment. Canada, 
too, on a smaller scale, made initial withdrawals reducing the Canadian 
Army force from 5,700 to 5,000. 

Preparations for the defense of Newfoundland had involved the develop- 
ment and construction of facilities other than the main military bases. As 
the U.S. garrisons were established and as base construction got under way 
during the early months of 1941, the Canadian and U.S. commanders acting 
both unilaterally and jointly carried out reconnaissance of the island. The 
reconnaissance indicated additional defense needs that included (a) field 
fortifications for the ground garrison, (b) an aircraft warning system, (c) ex- 
tensive improvement of the Newfoundland Railway, and (d) construction 
of a road from St. John's to Argentia. 33 

During the ensuing months the ground garrisons, both Canadian and 
U.S. proceeded to construct the machine gun nests, strong points, and other 
field fortications needed to augment the defense of the principal areas 
around St. John's and Conception Bay. Alternate and reserve firing posi- 
tions for mobile 155-mm. guns were prepared at various possible landing 
beaches. In addition, the permanent works necessary for emplacement of 
coast defense guns and searchlights, together with the necessary housing, 
power, and communications facilities, were built. The United States built 
a bombproof command post at Fort McAndrew. 

Arrangements between U.S. and Canadian commanders for the establish- 
ment of an integrated radar air warning system had to be worked out before 
actual construction and installation of the stations could begin. It would 

" Journal, 29 Jul 41 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 



155-mm. Gun Emplacement at Fort McAndrew, Newfoundland, May 1943. 

have been sounder to operate a single system as an integrated unit. But 
each country desired to operate and control the system, particularly Canada, 
which wanted to integrate the system with that for the Maritime Provinces. A 
complicating factor was the fact that, by agreement, the air defense of the 
north half of the island was a Canadian responsibility, and that of the south 
half was a U.S. responsibility. The RCAF considered a nine-station net 
necessary, but it could not immediately provide the required equipment. The 
United States desired for its purposes a five-station net, of which two sta- 
tions would be in the RCAF area. 34 

The Air members of the Permanent Joint Board considered the problem 
and on 13 May 1942 agreed that the United States should install and man 
its five-station net, with stations at Fogo Island, Cape Bonavista, Cape Spear, 
Allans Island, and St. Bride's, until such time as the RCAF could make 
Canadian sets available. The RCAF was to install its available sets in what 
would make up the balance of the Canadian net. After the installations 
were made, the RCAF command's No. 1 Group and the U.S. Newfound- 
land Base Command each operated independent filter centers and operational 
control organizations, with both systems receiving data from all stations on 

34 Journal, 21 Apr 42 PJBD meeting, PDB 124; Memo, SUSAM for ACofS OPD, 30 Mar 
42, PDB 123. 



the island. 35 By the end of the summer the Canadian radar equipment had 
become available, but the U.S. commander, loath to yield operation of his 
warning net to the RCAF, requested reconsideration of the arrangement pre- 
viously worked out. No action was taken and' the existing arrangement 
continued until the spring of 1944. 

The United States in May 1944 expressed a desire to transfer the stations 
to Canadian control in order to release U.S. personnel for service in more 
active theaters. Acceding to the request, Canada assumed control during 
the succeeding few months under an arrangement whereby the U.S. equip- 
ment was retained and the United States supplied the spare parts needed. 
This arrangement continued throughout the war and into the immediate 
postwar period, since the system continued to be useful during the demobili- 
zation period for air rescue and movement control purposes.' 6 

Major deficiencies in transportation facilities in Newfoundland were 
recognized in the initial surveys of the Greenslade Board in September 1940. 
Adequate road and rail nets were lacking, and the existing railroad was re- 
ported as having small capacity and needing extensive replacement of rolling 
stock and rehabilitation of repair facilities. Although the roadbed of the 
707-mile narrow-gauge railroad, which was owned and operated by the New- 
foundland Government, was in good condition, its predominantly 50-pound 
rail and limited bridge capacities would probably be inadequate for heavy 
haulage. 37 The scope and condition of the island's transportation facilities 
became a matter of early concern, since they not only would be a handicap 
during the time the bases were under construction but also would place 
definite limitations on the mobility of the defensive garrison. 

Early in 1941 steps were initiated in different quarters to improve the 
condition of the railroad. In January the general manager of the New- 
foundland Railway discussed with the U.S. consul general in St. John's the 
possibility of financing the materials and equipment needed under the pend- 
ing lend-lease legislation as being related to the construction of the air and 
naval bases. The U.S. officials who considered the proposal concluded that 
a sufficiently broad interpretation of the proposed law would not be 
possible. 38 

"Journal, 9 Jun 42 PJBD meeting, PDB 124; Agreement, 12 Sep 42, PDB 123. 
56 Memo, ACofS OPD to CofS, 10 Oct 42; Memo, SUSAM for Cdn Air Member, 15 May 
44; both in PDB 123. 

37 Greenslade Rpt, 24 Sep 40, WPD 4351-9. For an account of U. S. Army transportation 
difficulties to and within Newfoundland, see Joseph Bykofsky and Harold Larson, The Trans- 
portation Corps: Operations Overseas, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Wash- 
ington: Government Printing Office, 1957), pp. 9-11. 

39 Ltr, U.S. Consul General, St. John's, to Hickerson, 23 Jan 41; Reply, 15 Feb 41; both in 
D/S 740.0011EW 1939/7919-3/9. 



In April 1941 a representative of the Newfoundland Government ap- 
peared before the Permanent Joint Board at one of its meetings to outline 
the railroad problem and the requirements for its solution. The Board took 
cognizance of the importance of the rehabilitation work to adequate supply 
of the U.S. bases and forces in agreeing on its Sixteenth Recommendation. 
This recommendation called for financial assistance by the United States to 
Newfoundland as needed for rehabilitating and augmenting the railroad's 
rolling stock by the amount necessary to meet U.S. military requirements. 
The rehabilitation requirements were also incorporated into the joint defense 
plan, ABC-22, which was being drafted concurrently. 39 

In approving the Sixteenth Recommendation, President Roosevelt di- 
rected the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to work out the financial 
arrangements and made $1,250,000 from his emergency fund available for 
procurement of the rolling stock for the U.S. Army. During the ensuing 
months several surveys were made in which the cost of railroad rehabilita- 
tion to be undertaken with U.S. financial assistance was variously estimated 
at from $5.5 to $7.0 million (U.S.). Reconstruction Finance Corporation 
officials conducted an independent survey and discussed the problem with 
the Newfoundland authorities during August 1941. As a result, a U.S. loan 
was worked out in principle for $2.1 million, which covered the "absolutely 
necessary improvements" — five, new locomotives, 150 cars of various types, 
work equipment, and augmentation of repair facilities. 40 The formalities 
for the loan were completed on 24 November 194l, and the final barrier was 
cleared with the enactment by the Newfoundland Government on 4 Decem- 
ber of the Railway Loan Act. 

By this time the U.S. Army had already procured and delivered for opera- 
tion by railroad authorities the one hundred flat and tank cars it had agreed 
to provide over and above the rolling stock being obtained under the loan. 
Title to these cars, and to the five locomotives that were delivered shortly, 
was retained by the United States. An additional direct U.S. contribution 
to the railroad rehabilitation was the replacement of the 50-pound rail on 
the Argentia Branch (supplying Fort McAndrew and the naval base) with 
70-pound rail, a project that had been dropped from the curtailed rehabili- 
tation program being financed by the U.S. loan. 

Except within the base areas, U.S. forces undertook only one major piece 
of highway construction in Newfoundland. Harmon Field in southwestern 
Newfoundland was connected with the Avalon Peninsula by the cross-island 

i9 | Appendix - ^ Journal, 23 Apr 41 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 

40 Ltr, President to SW, 23 Apr 41, PDB 117; Ltr, Commissioner of Defense L. E. Emerson 
to Hickerson, 23 Aug 41, Department of State Office of Dominion Affairs, PJBD 1941. 



railroad. The Argentia-Fort McAndrew base was connected with St. John's 
by both rail and highway, but the fifty-four miles of highway between the 
base and Holyrood was inadequate for military purposes. At a meeting of 
the Permanent Joint Board on Defense on 30 July 1941, Newfoundland 
Defense Commissioner L. E. Emerson discussed with Board members the 
highway requirements of Canadian and U.S. forces and possible arrange- 
ments for meeting them. Of particular concern to the Newfoundland Gov- 
ernment was the maintenance burden being imposed by the heavy military 
traffic on the island's roads. At the meeting, the Board adopted its Twen- 
tieth Recommendation, embodying arrangements suggested by Emerson, 
which in part authorized both Canada and the United States to construct 
and maintain such roads as either required. Under the recommendation, the 
maintenance of such of the roads as the two countries did not see fit to 
maintain was to be a responsibility of the Newfoundland authorities. 
Despite the renewed efforts of Newfoundland during the succeeding few 
months to get Canada and the United States to accept a greater responsi- 
bility for maintenance, the positions of the two countries remained firm. 41 

Under the arrangements set forth in the Twentieth Recommendation, the 
United States proceeded to reconstruct the fifty-four-mile Holyrood-Argentia 
highway. In the period 1 May-15 December 1942, fourteen miles of high- 
way was relocated and the road was paved with gravel to a 24-foot width 
along its entire length. The improvements allowed the St. John's-Argentia 
drive, which formerly required six to eight hours, to be made in two hours. 

Communications presented the last major auxiliary facility requirement 
outside the base areas. By mid-194l it was apparent to the U.S. authorities 
that the existing wire line, which paralleled the cross-island railroad, would 
be inadequate. Even when supplemented by radio networks, the communi- 
cations were unable to meet the administrative and operational needs of 
the garrisons. Of particular importance was adequate communications serv- 
ice for the aircraft warning network. 

No action had been initiated before the end of 1941, when winter storms 
began to demonstrate the vulnerability of the wire-line system. Two 
months of bad weather during January and February 1942 caused extensive 
breakdown of the wire lines, but the difficulty was climaxed by the damage 
of a "glitter" storm, involving very heavy ice loads. On the main line 
some three hundred poles and five hundred cross arms were broken, and 
hundreds of wire breaks occurred. Two weeks was required to restore tele- 
phone service between St. John's and Argentia. 

41 |Appendix Aj below; Journal, 30 Jul 41 PJBD meeting, PDB 124; Ltr, Hickerson to Emer- 
son, 21 Nov 41, Department of State Office of Dominion Affairs, PJBD 1941. 



The United States decided to install a telephone cable line adequate to 
meet the requirements of the several users — the railroad, local officials and 
police, and the military garrisons of Canada and the United States. The 
costs were to be borne by the United States, which in turn would be reim- 
bursed on a suitable basis by the users. The telephone cable was expected 
to be less vulnerable than wire lines. Using a $3.5-million appropriation 
made available for the purpose, the Newfoundland Base Command in June 
1942 contracted with the Bell Telephone Company of Canada for installa- 
tion of a telephone cable line along the Newfoundland Railway between 
Whitbourne and Stephenville, the materials to be supplied by the U.S. 
Army. This project also included the necessary repeater stations and other 
auxiliary features, and an open wire line from Shoal Harbor to the radar 
station at Bonavista. Concurrently, a contract was let to the Western 
Union Telegraph Company for a smaller project involving the construction 
of a telephone cable between Forts Pepperrell and McAndrew at a cost of 

In effect, during World War II Newfoundland had two independent sets 
of defense installations, each with its own defense garrison and under its 
own defense command. Through the media of joint planning and maneu- 
vers, and of co-ordination of operations on the basis of co-operation between 
the commanders, a reasonable degree of success was achieved in integrating 
the garrisons of the two countries. But it was evidently Canadian policy 
to restrict the scope, or at least the character, of the U.S. defense role in 

Canada's wartime policy toward Newfoundland may have been motivated 
by both military and political considerations. To Canadian eyes, Newfound- 
land was a key element of the Canadian defense problem, in the solution of 
which Canada desired to maintain the predominant position. Likewise, with 
an eye to the future and a possible revision of the political status of New- 
foundland, Canada might naturally be inclined to prevent the development 
of a situation in which political association with the United States might 
appear more desirable to Newfoundlanders than other possible courses, such 
as joining the Canadian Confederation. During the World War II and 
postwar years, a significant amount of consideration was given by New- 
foundlanders in public discussion and the local press to the desirability of 
political association with the United States as a possible solution to the 
problem of Newfoundland's political status. To many, this solution 
promised a brighter economic future than other solutions such as associa- 
tion with Canada. Any encouragement by U.S. officials would probably 
have increased the sentiment favoring a link to Washington. No such 



encouragement was offered, and, in consequence of this attitude, Newfound- 
land became increasingly interested in union with Canada, which saw this 
step as politically and strategically desirable. 

North Atlantic Ferry Operations 

One of the major missions of the air bases in Newfoundland was that 
of supporting the ferrying of aircraft across the Atlantic from North America 
to the European battle zones. Throughout the war years an ever-increasing 
number of airplanes staged through these and other bases in eastern Canada 
and the North Atlantic to help meet the requirements of the Allied air 
forces. At its full development this operation represented an important 
joint U.S. -Canadian contribution to the war effort, for the movement of 
aircraft eastward utilized an integrated network of bases constructed and 
manned by personnel of both countries. 

The first step in building this "Atlantic bridge" was taken in July 1940 
when the British Ministry of Aircraft Production arranged with the Cana- 
dian Pacific Railway Company for the operation of a ferry service between a 
western terminal at Dorval Airport near Montreal and an eastern terminal 
at Prestwick, Scotland. Aircraft were to be delivered by civilian pilots to 
Dorval from plants of U.S. aircraft manufacturers in California. The first 
delivery, seven Lockheed Hudsons, took place on 11 November 1940, and 
involved a 2,100-mile hop from Newfoundland Airport to the United King- 
dom. By February 1941 Boeing Flying Fortresses (B-17's) and Consolidated 
Liberators (B-24's) were also being flown over the route. 42 

On 15 July 1941 the ferrying operation was taken over by the British 
Ministry of Aircraft Production itself through its ATFERO (Atlantic ferry- 
ing organization), and the Canadian Pacific Railway agreement was termi- 
nated. At this time 59 percent of the pilots were American, 10 percent 
Canadian, and 28 percent British. ATFERO was short-lived, for on 1 
August the responsibility was assumed by the Royal Air Force Ferry Com- 
mand, which had been established on 20 July. 

United States participation in the ferrying of aircraft produced for the 
United Kingdom began shortly after approval of the initial lend-lease appro- 
priations on 27 April 1941. In early May 1941 U.S. Army Air Corps and 
British officials discussed a plan for U.S. assumption of the transcontinental 
portion of the ferrying. The arrangement appealed to the Air Corps since it 
would provide additional training opportunities in the coast-to-coast opera- 
tion of the latest types of aircraft. The British anticipated a reduction in 

42 More detailed accounts of the ferrying operations are to be found in Craven and Cate 
(eds.), Plans and Early Operations, and Great Britain, Central Office of Information, Atlantic 
Bridge (London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1945). 



the cost of delivery of the aircraft and the release of large numbers of civil- 
ian ferry pilots who could then be employed on the transatlantic leg of the 
delivery route. On 28 May President Roosevelt assigned to the War De- 
partment the responsibility for delivery of lend-lease aircraft to the point of 
ultimate take-off from the United States for the United Kingdom. The 
next day, 29 May, the Air Corps Ferrying Command came into existence by 
an order that was formalized on 5 June. 43 In the six months preceding 
Pearl Harbor, the command ferried 1,350 aircraft to the eastern seaboard for 
further movement by air or water, financing these operations with over 
$60,000,000 from lend-lease funds. The scope of the ferrying operation was 
enlarged during the pre-Pearl Harbor period by a Presidential directive of 
3 October 1941, which authorized delivery to any territory within the 
Western Hemisphere, and by one of 24 November, which expanded the 
delivery authority "to such other places ... as may be necessary to carry 
out the lend-lease program." 44 

Several months before the United States began actively to participate in 
the transatlantic ferrying operation, the U.S. Army had conducted prepara- 
tory studies and discussed the airfield requirements of an expanded operation 
with British and Canadian officials. It had concluded that additional bases 
would be needed to permit the ferrying of short-range aircraft, and that be- 
cause of congestion at the Newfoundland Airport other facilities would have 
to be provided for long-range aircraft. 

Short-range aircraft were to be ferried to the United Kingdom over a 
route through Greenland and Iceland. In Iceland, the British had con- 
structed airfields at Reykjavik and Kaldaharnes after they established a gar- 
rison there in 1940. In Greenland, owing to British and Canadian interest 
in 1940 and early 1941 in airfields for ferrying operations, the United States 
proceeded to garrison the island and develop air bases. 45 Construction was 
begun in Greenland in early July 1941 at Narsarssuak, near Julianehaab, on 
an airfield having the code designation Bluie West One (simplified to 
BW-1), and in late September 1941 on BW-8 on the S<>ndre Str0mfjord. 

The need for airfield facilities to augment those at Newfoundland Air- 
port was first examined by U.S. and Canadian authorities at an Ottawa 
meeting on 20 March 1941. Canada was asked to survey Labrador for pos- 
sible sites for staging fields near the village of North West River and also 

45 Army Air Forces, Air Transport Command, Administrative History of the Ferrying Com- 
mand, 29 May 1941-30 June 1942, pp. 2-8; Ltr, President to SW, 28 May 41, Roosevelt Papers, 
Secy's File, Box 74. 

44 Ad ministrativ e History of the Ferrying Command, 29 May 1941-30 June 1942, pp. 58-59. 

45 See | Ch. VIJ above. On Iceland, additional air-base development was carried out by the 
U.S. armed forces after their arrival there. 



at points farther north. The United States authorities expressed a readiness 
to undertake surveys as well as development of bases. Canadian authorities 
after subsequent discussion undertook to make the survey for a site in the 
vicinity of North West River, Labrador. The United States received 
authority to make, and concurrently initiated, its own surveys, which it 
wished to extend northward for possible sites at Hebron, Labrador, and on 
Baffin Island. 46 

The U.S. surveys were made by a party headed by Capt. Elliott Roose- 
velt, son of the President and intelligence officer of the 21st Reconnaissance 
Squadron based at Newfoundland Airport. Its mission was to locate a site 
in the vicinity of North West River, as well as sites in northern Labrador 
and on Baffin Island. The latter sites, together with a site to be located in 
eastern Greenland, would complete the ferry route for short-range aircraft. 

In late June, after several weeks' search, the Canadian survey party, under 
Eric Fry of the Dominion Geodetic Survey, located an eminently suitable 
airfield site near North West River. On 1 July Captain Roosevelt located 
the same site and reconnoitered it from the air. The two parties joined at 
a suitable landing site some distance away and proceeded on foot for a joint 
ground survey on 4 July 1941. 47 Both parties then returned and rendered 
favorable reports. 

In mid-July the United States proposed, in a letter from Mayor LaGuardia 
to Colonel Biggar, that an airfield be constructed at once at the North West 
River site (later designated Goose Bay), and obtained British service support 
in Washington for urgent action on the proposal. On 28 July word was 
received in Washington that the RCAF had concluded that development 
of an airfield would not be possible that summer. The United States then 
offered aid as a means of expediting construction, and the North West River 
airfield project was further discussed on 29 July at the meeting of the Per- 
manent Joint Board. As a result, the Board approved its Seventeenth Rec- 
ommendation, which called upon Canada urgently to construct an air base 
and auxiliary facilities near North West River. If Canada were unable to 
do so, construction by the United States was to be arranged. 48 The Cabinet 
War Committee approved the recommendation on 13 August 1941. 

46 Minutes of Conference, WPD 4173-80; Memo for Record, Conference With General 
Arnold on 17 Jun 41, WPD 4173-77; Memo, ACofS WPD for SUSAM, 23 Jun 41, WPD 

47 Ltr, Capt Elliott Roosevelt to TAG, 6 Jul 41, WPD 4506-10. For an account of how 
the data from a 1935 timber survey led Fry to this site, see Kenneth Wright, "How Goose Bay 
Was Discovered," The Beaver, Outfit 277 (June 1946), pp. 42-45. 

48 Appendix Al below; Journal PJBD meetings 29 Jun and 10-11 Nov 41, PDB 124; Ltr, 
Maj Gen H. H. Arnold to Air Marshall A. T. Harris, 17 Jul 41, and Reply, 28 Jul 41, both 
in WPD 4506-4. 



The Canadians worked rapidly to get construction of the Goose 
Bay base under way. Detailed surveys were completed by 20 August, a 
contract was let in early September by the Department of Transport to a 
Canadian contractor, and the first ship arrived at the site on 19 September. 
Work was pressed on a twenty-four-hour basis. By 16 November three 
7,000-foot runways could receive aircraft, and the following month the air- 
field was in use. With the closing of the water navigation season, the U.S. 
Army Air Forces furnished an airplane for transport of materials to the site 
to permit construction to continue through the winter. 49 

In the meantime, the Roosevelt party had continued its surveys farther 
north. During the last half July 1941, potential airfield sites were found at 
Fort Chimo in the Province of Quebec and at upper Frobisher Bay 
and Cumberland Sound on Baffin Island. Padloping Island was later sub- 
stituted for Cumberland Sound. 50 The United States soon concluded that 
the season was too far advanced to undertake airfield construction, but it 
requested and received, on 22 August, Canadian approval for the establish- 
ment of weather stations at the three sites. On 20 September 1941 a ship 
carrying the weather detachments and construction materials left New York 
for the three sites, which received the code designations Crystal I (Fort 
Chimo), Crystal II (upper Frobisher Bay), and Crystal III (Padloping 
Island). The detachments reached their destinations in October and by the 
end of the year had constructed the necessary shelter and facilities and were 
in operation. 51 

The early months of 1942 found major difficulties developing in connec- 
tion with North Atlantic ferrying operations. As a result of U.S. entry into 
the war, plans were being laid for the movement of large numbers of tactical 
aircraft in formations to the United Kingdom. Then, too, the mounting 
tide of defense production was making increasing numbers of aircraft avail- 
able for delivery to Great Britain. As if to compound the congestion that 
would result at Gander and Torbay Airports, spring thaws would render 
the Goose Bay runways unusable until they could be stabilized or paved for 
year-round use. Additional, suitably spaced airfields were still needed to 
permit ferrying of short-range aircraft. 

49 For an account of the development of the base, which was designated Goose Bay, see 
"Stepping Stone to Europe," Canada at War, No. 25 (Jun 43), pp. 3-6. An unofficial account 
by the senior Royal Canadian Navy officer stationed at the base is to be found in William G. 
Carr, Checkmate to the North (Toronto: The Macmillan Company, 1945). 

,0 On 9 August, during the Atlantic Conference at Argentia, the development of these sites 
as a short-range ferry route was discussed by the President with General Arnold, Captain Roose- 
velt, and other officers. 

51 Journal, 9 Sep 41 PJBD meeting, PDB 124; Arnold, Global Mission, p. 250. An account 
of the difficulties encountered in transporting materials to those sites is contained in Bykofsky 
and Larson, The Transportation Corps: Operations Overseas, pp. 11-13. 



Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia (second from left) in Newfoundland, September 
1942. With him are Hon. L. E. Emerson (left), Brigadier G. P. Vanier, and Capt. 
Harry DeWolfe (far right). 

The Permanent Joint Board discussed the problem of additional staging 
airfield requirements at its 27 April and 26-27 May 1942 meetings. At the 
first of these meetings, the Canadian Section suggested, tentatively and sub- 
ject to further study, that Canada would be prepared to develop an airfield 
at Fort Chimo and perhaps at other sites. By the time of the second of the 
two meetings the War Department had approved a detailed plan, later des- 
ignated the Crimson Project, which the Senior U.S. Army Member outlined 
to the Canadian Section on 27 May. The Board then recessed to permit its 
thorough examination. 52 

52 The ebullient LaGuardia reported to the President on the meeting: "I consider this meet- 
ing the most important we have had .... The plan itself challenges imagination. It is so 
gigantic and dramatic. It took our Canadian colleagues by surprise and frankly they have not 
yet recovered." (Ltr, 28 May 42, Roosevelt Papers, Official File 4090.) A Canadian appraisal 
of the task had been informally given the U.S. minister a few days earlier by C. D. Howe, who 
thought that the United States was underestimating the difficulties, such as the long nights 
and high winds, involved in constructing and operating a base such as the one proposed for 
Baffin Island. Howe indicated that he would be unwilling to accept such a responsibility for 
Canada for fear that heavy losses would be incurred. (Memo/Conv, 23 May 42, Moffat Diary.) 



The Board on reconvening on 9 June reviewed at length a U.S. AAF 
presentation on the future requirements for movements over the North 
Atlantic Ferry Route. The increased traffic was seen as reaching, in 1943, a 
peak as high as one hundred combat and forty transport aircraft each day. 
To meet these requirements, a series of airfields 400 to 500 miles apart along 
three alternate routes was proposed: 53 

a. Eastern route— Fort Chimo, Baffin Island, east coast of Greenland, 
and Iceland. 

b. Western route — Regina, The Pas, Churchill, Southampton Island, 
thence joining the eastern route at Baffin Island. 

c. Central route— Moose Factory, Richmond Gulf, thence joining the 
eastern route at Baffin Island. 

The airfields proposed would not only be adequate to meet foreseeable 
immediate requirements and provide alternate routes for flexibility to over- 
come adverse weather conditions but would also be suitable for expansion 
to meet increased requirements that might arise. 

The Permanent Joint Board, after concluding that the aircraft to be 
ferried over the proposed routes might have a decisive effect in shortening 
the war, approved its Twenty-sixth Recommendation, calling for the con- 
struction by Canada and the United States of nine air bases in Canada and 
Greenland. The recommendation specified that all existing airfield facilities 
for ferrying aircraft located in Canada and Newfoundland, including Labra- 
dor, were to be considered a part of the project and increased in capacity 
wherever necessary. Each country was to bear the costs of the airfields it 
undertook to construct, but all the facilities in Canada were to become the 
property of Canada six months after the end of the war. 54 

While the two governments were considering the recommendation, the 
Combined Chiefs of Staff also studied the proposals, the shipping require- 
ments of which would have an impact on those for the build-up of forces in 
the United Kingdom for the invasion of the European continent. The im- 
pact was so great that a Combined Chiefs of Staff committee recommended 
in mid-June that the project be rejected unless it could be acceptably modi- 
fied. On 2 July the Combined Chiefs of Staff were able to approve a 
modified plan requiring water movement of only half the tonnage of the 
earlier plan. The new plan called for three permanent airfields— at The Pas, 
Churchill, and Southampton Island — and for airfields with snow-compacted 

"Journal, PDB 124; U.S. AAF, Appreciation of the North Atlantic Ferry Routes, 6 Jun 42, 
appen ded to the jo urnal. 

54 Appendix A below; Appreciation of the North Atlantic Ferry Routes, cited n.53. 



runways, for winter use only, at Crystal I, Crystal II or III, and on the 
east coast of Greenland. The curtailment involved elimination of the cen- 
tral route and of one airfield on Baffin Island and substitution of winter 
airfields for permanent airfields at three of the remaining sites." 

By the time the Permanent Joint Board on Defense met on 6 July 1942, 
both governments had approved the Twenty-sixth Recommendation. A 
week later the Canadian Government reported that, in light of its construc- 
tion commitments at Goose Bay and elsewhere in Newfoundland and Canada, 
it could undertake to construct and defend only the airfield at The Pas.'* 6 

Within the U.S. War Department a special North Atlantic Ferry Route 
Project Committee, established on 3 June, was at work on an urgent con- 
struction program under a directive from the Chief of Staff that the Crim- 
son Project "must be thought of in terms of weeks and not years." 
Although by the latter part of August substantial cargo unloadings were 
taking place at the airfield sites, the committee found the problem of water 
transportation and its limitations to be one of the major handicaps to rapid 
construction. Ice conditions permitted vessels to reach Crystal I (Fort 
Chimo) only between 10 August and 1 October. Open water was available 
for a slightly shorter period at Crystal II (upper Frobisher Bay). Crystal 
III (Padloping Island) was open to shipping only about one month. In 
varying but usually lesser degrees, a similar handicap was met at all the other 
sites, including Goose Bay. Where the necessary supplies and equipment 
could not be landed during the open-water season, the limited capabilities 
of aerial supply presented the only alternative. 

By the end of 1942 remarkable progress on the Crimson Project had 
been made. A civilian contractor under the Canadian Department of Trans- 
port had completed a usable 200- by 400-foot snow-compacted runway at 
The Pas, and two more runways were partially cleared. Housing was 80 
percent complete. A U.S. civilian contractor on 1 December took over the 
work initiated at Churchill on 12 August by U.S. Engineer troops (the 330th 
Engineer General Service Regiment), and by the end of 1942 a 160- 
by 6,000-foot concrete runway had been completed, while the grading of two 
additional runways was more than half finished. Progress at Fort Chimo, 
Southampton Island, and Frobisher Bay, which were not served by railroads, 
was slower. Work under U.S. civilian contractors began in late August on 
all three bases. By 1 January 1943 usable but unpaved runways were avail- 
able at the three sites and housing was about 50 percent complete. 

" CCS 81, 14 Jun 42; CCS 81/1, 28 Jun 42, approved 2 Jul 42; Minutes, 30th CCS meet- 
ing; Journal, 6 Jul 42 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 
"Journals, PDB 124. 



During 1942 additional facilities were added to the Crimson Project. 
To meet the need for an emergency airfield between Presque Isle, Maine, the 
principal U.S. "jump-off' point for the eastern route, and Goose Bay, the 
United States on 20 October 1942 requested permission to construct a field 
at Mingan, Quebec. The possibility that the RCAF base at Seven Islands, 
eighty miles westward, might meet the need was discussed, and a Canadian- 
U.S. team made a joint survey of the Mingan site. A conclusion in favor 
of a separate airfield on the direct route was reached, and on 30 October the 
United States was notified of the approval granted two days earlier by the 
Cabinet War Committee. The U.S. Army awarded a contract for the work 
to the McNamara Construction Company, Limited, a Canadian contractor 
that had released personnel and equipment from the work completed at 
Goose Bay.^ 7 

At the Goose Bay base some additional facilities were constructed during 
the summer and fall of 1942. In April 1942 when a small U.S. detachment 
had been installed at Goose Bay, it shared the facilities constructed for the 
RCAF, and minor frictions inevitably developed. To eliminate these fric- 
tions, the U.S. garrison sought authority to construct a separate establish- 
ment on the opposite side of the airfield. The Canadian Government 
approved the U.S. request in July, and in November the U.S. garrison, 
which numbered 325 by the end of the year, moved into its new facilities. 
In constructing the new facilities, the main elements of which comprised 
three hangars and housing for 1,000 permanent and 1,200 transient per- 
sonnel, the U.S. Army Engineer authorities charged with the task had 
employed the Canadian contractors then at work at Goose Bay. 58 

Canada provided the local defenses for the Goose Bay base, and by March 
1943 a Canadian Army garrison of 1,300 was stationed there for that pur- 
pose. Three concrete runways, all 200 feet wide by approximately 6,000 feet 
long, were constructed, together with comparable appurtenant installations, 
making the Goose Bay base one of the major bases in the area. 

The Goose Bay air base enjoyed a special status among the northeastern 
North American defense installations. Canada, in accordance with the 
Seventeeth Recommendation of the Permanent Joint Board, had undertaken 
the construction of the base. In March 1942, as a result of the 1940 and 
1941 understandings on defense between Canada and Newfoundland, it had 

" Ltr, Moffat to Secy State, 31 Oct 42, PDB 105-2. See rfable 7l below, p. 324, for the 
amounts expended by Canada and the United States on the Crimson bases. 
"Journal, 6 Jul 42 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 

With the construction of separate facilities, a large degree of co-operation prevailed between 
Canadian and U.S. forces at Goose Bay. It extended to official functions, such as the sharing 
of control tower and radio direction finder and similar facilities, and to unofficial functions, such 
as the exchange of groups of entertainers and athletic activities. 



officially become an RCAF station, on which the U.S. and British detach- 
ments were tenants. The Canadian Government in late 1941 had initiated 
steps to obtain a long-term lease for the base, and discussions with the New- 
foundland Government took place over a period of almost three years. On 
10 October 1944, a ninety-nine-year lease agreement between the two govern- 
ments dating from 1 September 1941 was signed at St. John's. 59 It provided 
that the facilities at Goose Bay would be available for use by U.S. and 
United Kingdom aircraft "for the duration of the war and for such time 
thereafter as the Governments agree to be necessary or advisable in the 
interests of common defense." The provisions of the lease were, on the 
whole, not as far reaching as the U.S. -United Kingdom lease agreement. 
One significant difference was that the Goose Bay lease provided that the 
laws of Newfoundland would remain applicable within the leased area. 60 

In the spring of 1943 changing conditions had caused the War Depart- 
ment planners to reappraise the requirements for the ferrying route. Largely 
because of the greatly increased range of aircraft and the improved situation 
in connection with water transportation of aircraft, there was virtually no 
need for the western ferrying route, and the need for eastern-route airfields 
had also diminished. At the 6-7 May 1943 meeting of the Permanent Joint 
Board, the U.S. Section proposed that 

a. The airfields at Churchill, Southampton Island, and The Pas be 
turned over to Canada. 

b. The programs at Mingan, Fort Chimo, and Frobisher Bay be 
expanded to develop these bases more fully as emergency airfields. 

c. Meteorological services be curtailed. 

d. Canada assume defense responsibility for the base at Southampton 
Island. 61 

The U.S. proposals were discussed at the May and July meetings of the 
Board, after which the U.S. Section submitted a modified proposal on 29 
July 1943. Under the proposal, which was approved by the Canadian Gov- 
ernment, the United States retained the caretaker and defense responsibility 
for the installations until the end of hostilities. 62 Construction programs at 

w Canada at War. No. 25 (Jun 43), pp. 3-6. The State Department, which was surprised 
when it learned of the negotiations in October 1943, after they had been in progress for about 
two years, was apparently .unenthusiastic about receiving treatment similar to that given Canada 
during the negotiations leading up to the March 1941 Newfoundland base agreement signed 
in London. (D/S Telg 100, to Ottawa, 26 Oct 43, D/S 842.7962/111.) 

60 CTS, 1944, No. 30. 

"Journals, PDB 124. 

62 Ltr, SUSAM to Keenleyside, and Reply, 8 Sep 43, PDB 150-1. The air bases at 
Churchill and The Pas were actually transferred to Canadian control before V-J Day. (See Ch. 
[XL], below.) 



the sites were meanwhile curtailed, and only the work already under way 
was completed at Churchill and Southampton Island. At Mingan, Fort 
Chimo, and Frobisher Bay, the expanded programs provided for the paving 
of runways that were originally only to be graded. 

The development of the air-base system required the parallel creation of 
a far-flung network of weather and communications stations, of particular 
importance in northern Canada and over the North Atlantic because of the 
hazards to flying and to maintenance of communications presented by the 
arctic and subarctic weather phenomena. The arrival on 9 March 1941 of a 
weather and communications detachment at Gander Airport had preceded 
by two months the establishment of the first U.S. air unit in Newfoundland. 
Even at that early date, the implications for peacetime weather forecasting 
were appreciated and occasioned some discussion as to the proper role of the 
U.S. weather services. In April 1941 Canada suggested, through diplomatic 
channels, that consultations be held among the civilian and service agencies 
concerned with a view to co-ordinating weather services. At the continuous 
urging of the Canadian Controller of Meteorological Services over the next 
two months, an arrangement was worked out under which the Canadian 
station at Gander Airport provided the official forecasting services for the 
garrisons of both countries. 63 

The Canadian reluctance to permit the U.S. military to operate a full- 
scale weather service in Canada and Newfoundland next manifested itself 
in August 1941 when the United States requested authority to establish the 
Crystal weather stations. After some discussion as to the scope and details 
of the U.S. request, Canada granted the authority on 22 August, reserving 
the right to replace the three U.S. stations with Canadian stations when it 
was in a position to do so. 64 

A greatly expanded meteorological network was needed for the Crimson 
Project, and under the Twenty-sixth Recommendation of the Permanent 
Joint Board on Defense the two countries agreed to collaborate in providing 
it. The requirements for additional service, as presented in a U.S. plan of 
7 September 1942, exceeded Canadian capabilities, and on 17 October Canada 
authorized the United States to establish weather stations at the following 
points: 65 

Army Air Forces, History of the Army Air Forces Weather Service, III (1941-1943), 

M Ott Leg Desp 1867, 22 Aug 41, D/S 811.9243/27. An accounr of the early develop- 
ment of the U.S. communications and weather services in Newfoundland and Canada is found 
in Louis Shores, Highways in the Sky: The Story of the A ACS (New York: Barnes & Noble, 
1947), pp. US., 51ff 

65 List, U.S. Defense Projects in Canada, 6 May 43, PDB 150-1. 



Coral Harbour 
Amadjuak Lake 
Northern Indian Lake 
East Hope Lake, Hud- 

Cape Dorset, Hudson's 
Bay Company 

Repulse Bay 
Winter Outpost 
York Bay 


son's Bay Company 
Le Pensie 

son's Bay Company 
Padloping Island 
Bowman Bay 
Lake Harbour, Hud- 

Nueltin Post 
Baker Lake 
Douglas Harbour 
Eskimo Point 
Sandy Lake 
Cape Low 




Etawnev Lake 

Rat River 
Wager Bay 


The curtailment of the Crimson Project in 1943 produced a correspond- 
ing reduction in the meteorological program, most of which had not been 
put into effect. By an exchange of letters in mid-1943, the authorization for 
a meteorological network was withdrawn except for the following stations 
which had actually been put into operation or were still considered neces- 
sary: observing and forecasting stations at The Pas, Churchill, Coral Harbour, 
Frobisher Bay, and Fort Chimo; observing stations at Brochet, Duck Lake, 
Eskimo Point, Gillam, Hudson Bay Junction, Island Falls, Lake Harbour, 
River Clyde, Wabowden, Mecatina, and Padloping Island; and additional 
stations at Foxe Basin, Indian House Lake, Stillwater Lake, and York Bay. 66 

Throughout the war the North Atlantic Ferry Route bases in Newfound- 
land, including Labrador, and in eastern Canada made possible a large flow 
of aircraft to the United Kingdom and Europe. Initially, this flow involved 
principally the delivery of aircraft from the factories of Canada and the 
United States to the fighting units of the pre-Pearl Harbor Allied Powers. 
Aircraft deliveries to the United Kingdom via this route increased each year— 
26 in 1940, 722 in 1941, 1,163 in 1942, ind 1,450 in 1943. The 1943 figure 
was part of a total of 3,280 aircraft ferried for delivery in Europe. The total 
increased in 1944 to 8,641. (r 

With U.S. entry into the war, the ferry route had assumed a new strategic 
importance in the staging of U.S. tactical units to the United Kingdom in 
the preparatory build-up for the planned operations against the European 
continent. The earliest movements took place in June 1942, when fighter 
aircraft of the U.S. Eighth Air Force staged from Presque Isle, Maine, to the 

66 Exchange of Ltrs, SUSAM and Keenleyside, 23 Jul-7 Aug 43, PDB 150-1. The existing 
AAF network, in addition, included stations in Labrador at Hebron and Cape Harrison which 
were not covered by the exchange with Canada. 

67 Great Britain, Central Office of Information, Atlantic Bridge, p. 30; Army Air Forces, Air 
Transport Command, History of the North Atlantic Division, II (1 Jan 43-1 Apr 44), 131. 
Additional deliveries were of course made by water transportation and via other air routes. 



United Kingdom via Gander or Goose Bay and Greenland and Iceland. By 
the end of 1942, 920 aircraft had attempted the crossing and 882 had reached 
their destinations. 68 

The air transport operations of the Air Transport Command, which had 
their beginnings in 1942, in 1943 reached major proportions. A fleet of some 
thirty-five four-engine and thirteen two-engine aircraft, mostly operated by 
civilian contract carriers, during 1943 carried over 7,600 tons of cargo east- 
ward and 2,200 tons westward, in addition to 15,235 passengers. After 1 Sep- 
tember 1943 the transatlantic operations were staged principally through 
Harmon Field at Stephenville, with Gander and Goose Bay Airports used as 
alternates. On V-E Day the Air Transport Command's North Atlantic fleet 
numbered approximately one hundred four-engine and sixteen two-engine 
transports. 69 

After V-E Day in May 1945, two major movements of aircraft to the 
United States from Europe took place over the ferry route. The AAF White 
Project, for the return of tactical aircraft for redeployment to other theaters, in- 
volved the movement by 15 July of 3,004 aircraft, which incidentally returned 
over 50,000 personnel with the loss of only one aircraft and no lives. The 
Green Project called for the air transport to the United States of personnel 
eligible for discharge from military service. Under this project, in a ninety- 
day period ending in Mid-September, 160,000 passengers were transported 
without a fatality, and by mid-September passengers transported under the 
White Project had exceeded 80,000.'" 

Throughout these movements the major burden was borne by the main 
bases at Stephenville, Gander Lake, and Goose Bay, since the increase in 
range of tactical, as well as transport, aircraft had eliminated the need for the 
intermediate Crimson bases except for emergency purposes. During 1943 
and 1944 a total of eighty-five and eighty-seven aircraft landings, respectively, 
took place at Crystal I (Fort Chimo), and about two-thirds of these land- 
ings were the result of Coast Guard PBY (Catalina) ice patrol operations. 
Crystal II (upper Frobisher Bay) recorded 323 aircraft arrivals in 1943. At 

68 An authoritative account of these operations is to be found in Samuel Milner, "Establish- 
ing the Bolero Ferrying Route," Military Affairs, XI (Winter 1947), 213-22. 

w History of the North Atlantic Division, II, 308-10, and IV (1 Oct 44-1 Oct 45), 368. 
Reginald M. Cleveland, Air Transport at War (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1946), con- 
tains authoritative accounts of the AAF ferrying and air transport operations through the eastern 
Canada and North Atlantic air bases. Graphic descriptions of difficulties encountered in these 
operations are to be found in Hugh B. Cave, Wings Across the World: The Story of the Air 
Transport Command (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1945), Ch. II. 

70 History of the North Atlantic Division, IV, 205, 337. Return of U.S. personnel by water 
at the same time was taking place at the rate of 350,000 per month. 



Southampton Island, periods varying from fifty to eighty days occurred during 
which no aircraft landed at the air base. An insignificant number of ferry 
aircraft passed through these bases, and air supply, aerial photography, and 
other miscellaneous operations accounted for most of the aircraft arrivals." 1 

Sault Sainte Marie 

The joint U.S. -Canadian defense plans prepared in 1940 and 194l paid 
scant attention to defenses for North America except for the coastal areas. 
It was only in these coastal areas, proximate to the sea power of the enemy 
and most likely to be reached by air attack, that the U.S. and Canadian planners 
considered that the Axis Powers had capabilities of any consequence for 
offensive action. Nevertheless, because of the pressures of public opinion 
and legislative clamor, the military in both countries were forced to consider 
measures for the defense of interior locations and areas. The defense of some 
of these areas, along the U.S.-Canadian boundary, necessitated study and 
recommendation by the Permanent Joint Board on Defense. 

The major interior defense problem along the boundary was protection of 
the locks, canals, and navigation channels of the Saint Marys River, connect- 
ing Lakes Superior and Huron. Through the Sault Sainte Marie locks in the 
average year passed tonnages exceeding those passing through the Suez, 
Panama, and Kiel Canals combined. This inland water movement, which 
was concentrated in the eight months of the year during which the channels 
were not frozen, was particularly important because it included the transpor- 
tation of the bulk (90 percent in 1941) of the total iron ore utilized in the 
United States, as well as large shipments of grain. If through sabotage or 
conventional attack the enemy could have succeeded in stopping movement 
of lake traffic through Sault Sainte Marie for a significant portion of the navi- 
gable season, major damage might have been done to the Canadian and U.S. 
military production programs. The nondelivery of ores would have curtailed 
output of steel and iron or, alternately, the movement by rail of the tonnages 
of ores involved would have imposed a burden on the already overtaxed rail 
transportation systems that could only have disrupted other portions of the 
over-all military support programs. 

The Permanent Joint Board on Defense took note of the defense problem 
as early as 20 January 1941, when it submitted its Thirteenth Recommen- 
dation. Approved by the two governments, the recommendation provided 
for centralization of responsibility for the safety of navigation in a single 
authority in each country. Each authority was to be adequately empowered 

11 Army Air Forces, Air Transport Command, North Atlantic Division, History of Crystal 
I, pp. 93-94, and Historical Data: Crystal II, p. 20. 



to co-operate in all the necessary precautionary measures with its counter- 
part. 72 

In addition to sabotage, conventional attack was considered a possibility, 
however small. Such an attack was usually envisaged as taking the form of 
submarine penetration of Hudson and James Bays for the purpose of rendez- 
vous with, and resupply of, seaplanes, which could then easily reach Saint 
Marys River. The Canadian Chiefs of Staff appreciated the U.S. concern over 
the safety of the locks but felt that the risk of enemy action was slight. Not 
long after the Board had taken action, President Roosevelt himself expressed 
fears that the Germans would penetrate Hudson Bay by submarine or raider. 
Secretary of the Navy Knox was able to reassure him that joint plans for the 
defense of the Sault Sainte Marie were in preparation and that Canada was 
watching the Hudson Bay area. The Chief of Naval Operations also pointed 
out that the Canadians had indicated they would resent any U.S. proposal to 
patrol Hudson Bay, which they firmly considered to be Canadian territorial 
waters. 7> 

United States entry into the war brought an intensification of interest in 
the Sault Sainte Marie defense problem. At the 20 January 1942 Permanent 
Joint Board meeting, it was agreed that each country should review the se- 
curity situation at the canals and the adequacy and state of the defenses. As 
a result of the War Department review, the U.S. Section of the Board an- 
nounced at the next meeting (25-26 February) that a regiment (less one gun 
battalion) of antiaircraft artillery, equipped with twelve 90-mm. guns, thirty- 
two 37-mm. guns, and twelve .50-caliber machine guns, and a battery of 
barrage balloons would be sent to augment canal defense. A general officer 

72 |Appendix A,| below. 

" Ltr, to Knox, 23 Apr 41, reproduced in F.D.R., His Personal Letters, II, 1145; Undated 
Memorandum of reply from Secy Navy bearing notation "tame to file 28 Apr 41," Roosevelt 
Papers, Secy's File, Box 77; CNO Memo, for President, 25 Apr 41, same file. Apparently 
neither the President's suggestion that naval patrols were needed in Hudson Bay nor other delib- 
erations on the problem developed into an occasion for further examination of the question of 
maritime jurisdiction over these waters, which Canada declared in a statute enacted in 1906 to 
be Canadian territorial waters. Although the question had not been adjudicated and other coun- 
tries had not protested the licensing required by the statute, the Department of State privately 
indicated in the same year that the United States would not accept such a position. (See Green 
H. Hackworth, Digest of International Law (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1940) I, 
701.) For examinations of the question reaching divergent conclusions, see V. K. Johnston 
(who takes the Canadian view), "Canada's Title to Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait," British 
Year Book of International Law, XV (1934), 1-20, and Thomas W. Balch, "Is Hudson Bay a 
Closed or an Open Sea," American journal of International Law, VI (1912), 409-59, and "The 
Hudsonian Sea Is a Great Open Sea." American Journal of International Law. VII (1913), 546- 
65. A recent comprehensive study, which examines Canada's Arctic claims in general, including 
the Hudson Bay question, is the unpublished Ph.D. dissertation (Columbia University, 1952) 
by Gordon W. Smith, The Historical and Legal Background of Canada's Arctic Claims. 



was to be placed in command of the Sault Sainte Marie Military District and 
charged with the defense responsibility. In addition, Army Engineers were 
to take steps to assure prompt repair of any damage. 74 The Canadian Section 
pointed out that an attack was not possible until mid-July, when the naviga- 
tion season on Hudson Bay normally opened. At the suggestion of the U.S. 
Section, the Board made its Twenty-fifth Recommendation for measures to 
complement those already taken by the United States. The recommendation 
called for (a) a full RCAF study of enemy capabilities for such attack, (b) 
the deployment of a Canadian antiaircraft battery, and (c) the placing of the 
Canadian battery under the control of the U.S. military district commander. 75 
Much progress had been made by the time of the Board meeting on 7-8 
April 1942. The Canadian Section reported that organization of the Cana- 
dian 40th Antiaircraft Battery (Heavy) for the canal defenses had been 
authorized. By midsummer the unit was in place on the Canadian side and 
under the operational command of the U.S. military district commander. 
Until the latter part of 1942, when its own 3.7-inch guns became available, 
the battery used four 90-mm. guns loaned by the United States. Also, the 
U.S. Section reported at the same meeting the arrival in the canal area on the 
U.S. side of the U.S. 100th Coast Artillery Regiment (Antiaircraft) (less one 
battalion) and the 702nd Military Police Battalion for security duty. United 
States plans called for the replacement of the military police battalion by the 
131st Infantry Regiment, as well as the establishment of a restricted airspace 
zone over the canals, which would require clearance in that zone of all air- 
craft movements and would subject unidentified aircraft to interception. The 
Board noted these plans and agreed that an aircraft warning system should 
be established at the earliest practicable time with a common system of 
operational control. 7 * 

The aircraft warning service requirements in Canada were discussed at a 
meeting of Canadian and U.S. representatives at Sault Sainte Marie on 5-6 
May. The resulting plan for a Central Canada Aircraft Detection Corps was 
approved by the Canadian Government, and the organization of the corps 
was put under way by the end of May. By 1 September 266 observation posts, 
including 215 fire towers plus railway telegraphers and telephone operators, 
were functioning. Filter rooms were located at Fort Brady, Ottawa, and 
Winnipeg, in addition to a jointly manned information center at the Sault. 
By the following summer the system had been expanded to 700 observation 
points in Canada, manned by 4,740 observers. During November 1942, an 

14 Journals, PD B 124. 
" lAppendix aj below. 
"''Journals, PDB 214. 



average of 600 flight plans per week were filed, and 400 observer reports were 
received. 7 " 

Although unable to deploy any fighter aircraft to the Sault Sainte Marie 
canal area because of more urgent requirements in coastal zones, the United 
States during the summer of 1942 prepared three airfields to receive fighter 
aircraft in 1943. In furtherance of arrangements approved by Canada on 7 
August 1942, the United States also proceeded to establish five radar stations 
in Canada, at Kapuskasing, Cochrane, Hearst, Armstrong, and Nakina. These 
stations, along the northernmost route of the Canadian National Railways, 
provided a screen across the Province of Ontario between the canals and 
Hudson and James Bays. In addition to providing the sites for this U.S. 
radar system, Canada also furnished housing facilities for use by portions of 
the U.S. garrison in the canal area for upward of 50 officers and 2,000 men. 78 

The Permanent Joint Board reassessed the Sault Sainte Marie defense 
requirements at its July and September 1942 meetings. To Canada, the Sault 
canals' defense was not of direct and prime importance. Although the Cana- 
dians had earlier agreed to watch the Hudson Bay area, they felt that no special 
patrols should be provided in the bays because of higher priority needs and 
because existing operations over these waters and Hudson Strait would prob- 
ably not permit a surface vessel to pass unobserved. Attempt by submarine 
would offer considerably greater success of penetrating the bays. But if the 
Canadians had no intention of providing special patrols, they did not en- 
courage the United States to do so. The Canadian Section of the Permanent 
Joint Board had, in April 1941, made evident a lack of enthusiasm for U.S. 
Navy patrols in Hudson Bay, which it regarded as Canadian inshore waters. 
It was the U.S. Section, more sensitive to the possibility, however small, of 
a Pearl Harbor-type, "long-shot" surprise attack on the canals, that was 
usually urging a larger scale of defenses in that area. The U.S. Section finally 
accepted the Canadian view that additional naval patrol in the Hudson Bay 
would not be justified. 79 

Similar discussion took place on the question of antiaircraft defense, with 
similar considerations involved. The Canadian Section reported the provi- 
sions made for antiaircraft defenses at the Sault canals and at the aluminum 
plant at Arvida, Province of Quebec. Many other requests for defense of 

77 Journal, 9 Jun 42 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 

78 Ltr, Air Commodore F. V. Heakes to Douglass, 7 Aug 42, PDB 123-6; the Twenty- 
second and Twenty-fifth Recommendations were cited by Canada as the basis for the provision 
of housing facilities for these units. Canadian Rpt, U.S. Defense Projects in Canada, 6 May 
43, PDB 150-1. The radar system, operated by the 671st Signal Aircraft Warning Reporting 
Company with headquarters at Kapuskasing, was manned by nearly 1,000 U.S. troops. 

79 Journals, PDB 124. 



similar facilities along the boundary had been made. The Board concluded, 
in the light of the small prospect of attack at such points, that assignment 
of defenses thereto was not justified. 8 " 

As the 1943 navigation season approached, the two countries continued 
the development of the defenses for the Sault canals. The German sub- 
marine menace in the western Atlantic had not yet reached and passed its 
peak, and the possibility of attack, however small, would be greater in 1943 
than in 1942. The United States had already, on 29 September 1942, estab- 
lished the Central Air Defense Zone, a belt some 100-150 miles deep on the 
U.S. side of the border from the north shore of Lake Superior to 45° north 
latitude in Lake Huron. Except for local flights, flight plans were required 
for aircraft movements. By the time of the opening of the 1943 navigation 
season, Canada had established a prohibited flying zone in Canada with a 
radius of 100 miles from the canal locks. 81 

By the beginning of 1943 the War Department had also developed plans 
for the establishment of a military area, pursuant to Executive Order 9066, as 
had already been done in the U.S. Eastern and Western Defense Commands. 
By proclamation, the commander of such a military area would become re- 
sponsible for all defense and internal security activities in the area, including 
the control of aliens and undesirables, use of radios, codes, and cameras, light- 
ing, and similar activities. The U.S. Section of the Permanent Joint Board 
suggested that Canada might wish to take similar action. Joint conferences 
between the officials concerned took place over several months. On the U.S. 
side, Public Proclamation 1 established the Sault Sainte Marie Military Area 
effective 22 March 1943. As to similar action by Canada, the question was 
pursued as far as a joint conference at Toronto on 12 April 1943, when the 
Canadian conferees presented their conclusions that existing powers were 
adequate for attaining comparable objectives in Canada and that the estab- 
lishment of a similar area in Canada was not necessary. 8 ' 

With the passage of the 1943 navigation season, the tide of German naval 
and air power in the Atlantic, which had already turned, continued to ebb 
rapidly. The Sault canal defenses were rapidly dismantled. In November 
1943 the Permanent Joint Board approved the disbandment of the aircraft 
detection organizations in the area. The Canadian Observer Corps, then 
numbering 9,000, was disbanded on 3 January 1944, and the Canadian anti- 
aircraft battery was transferred. In January also, the War Department 
initiated the inactivation of the Central Air Defense Zone, the withdrawal of 

80 Journal, 1 Sep 42 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 

81 WD Unnumbered Circular; Journal, 24-25 Aug 43 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 

82 Journal, 6-7 May 43 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 



the radar stations in Canada, and the redeployment of the ground defenses 
elsewhere. The security of the canals was left in the hands of the Royal 
Canadian Mounted Police on the Canadian side and of a military police 
company on the U.S. side. 

Apart from the coastal border areas whose defense was provided for in 
ABC-22 and the Sault Sainte Marie defense system, only one other border 
defense problem of major consequence was considered by Canada and the 
United States jointly. Toward the end of 1942 U.S. Eastern Defense Com- 
mand planners envisaged the need for siting defense installations such as 
radar stations and other antiaircraft defenses north of the border in order 
adequately to defend the defense command sector. In February 1943 a re- 
quest was forwarded to Ottawa for authority to make reconnaissances and 
deploy antiaircraft weapons on Canadian territory near Buffalo. The Cana- 
dian reply expressed concern that such a deployment would inspire numerous 
similar demands at other points and suggested that the matter first be dis- 
cussed in the Board, which had a few months earlier taken a position against 
such deployments. 83 

From the exchange emerged a U.S. request that (a) the Twenty-second 
Recommendation be interpreted by the Board as providing authority for 
joint planning as well as actual emergency action, and (b) appropriate Cana- 
dian authorities join in planning for the defense of the Great Lakes-St. 
Lawrence River valley. The Board agreed to this interpretation, subject to 
the understanding that such plans would not constitute commitments. On 
31 March 1943 Canadian and U.S. officers met at the headquarters of the 
Eastern Defense Command in New York City and after discussion reached 
some broad but oral understandings. On the basis of these understandings, 
Eastern Defense Command planners formulated a plan envisaging a radar 
network of twenty-three stations and appropriate interception aircraft units 
and headquarters. The plan was to be placed in effect only when frequent 
air raids into the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River valley area became a definite 
possibility. 84 The U. S. plan, based on the joint discussions, was forwarded 
in May to Ottawa for review and comment by the Canadian Army and 
RCAF staff there. It was never revised. By midsummer of 1943 with 
German capabilities becoming weaker the possibility of such air raids became 
most unlikely. 

85 Memo, Maj Gen Sanderford Jarman, EDC, for SUSAM, 7 Feb 43, and Reply, 19 Feb 43, 
both in PDB 126-7. 

84 Memos, ACofS WPD for SUSAM, 15 Feb and 11 May 43, and Reply, 1 Mar 43, all in 
PDB 135-2. 


Activities in Western Canada 

Before 7 December 1941 the Canadian and U.S. military effort in North 
America reflecrcd an almost complete absorption in the defense problems of 
the eastern seaboard. This was a natural consequence of the fact that a 
shooting war was in progress in the Atlantic. The Pearl Harbor attack and 
the tesuking Japanese menace to the west coast and Alaska produced a re- 
orientation of U.S. military effort in North America. Alaska, whose needs 
had until then been subordinated ro the needs of the Atlantic wat and of 
advanced Pacific bases, found itself enjoying a much higher priority for U.S. 
military resources. Within a mattei of months, a substantial reinforcement 
of the Alaskan garrison had taken place. 

Simultaneously a force of U.S. personnel, both military and civilian, poured 
into northwest'Canada to build the logistical facilities needed to support the 
defense of that quarter of the continent. United States military strength in 
northwest Canada in late 1942 exceeded 15,000, and in the next year, when 
some of the troops had been replaced by civilian workers, U.S. civilians alone 
exceeded that figure. On 1 June 1943 the total strength of the American 
personnel in notthwest Canada was over 33,000. In some instances the 
United States was able to utilize existing air-base and other facilities, ex- 
panded by either or both countries to meet- wartime requirements. Othet 
projects were carved out of the virgin wilderness, in some cases in areas never 
before surveyed. It was here in western Canada rhat the joint U.S. -Canadian 
war effort left its biggest and most lasting imprint. 

It was in western Canada, too, that joint efforts produced the biggest 
administrative headaches. Shorrages of men, materials, and machines were 
inevitable. Dislocations caused by rapidly changing requirements could not 
always be avoided. In ordet to curb competition for available matetials, as 
already noted, the Canadian Government incorporated a crown company, 
North West Purchasing Limited, on 19 February 1943. Purchases by this 
company in norrhwest Canada to meet the requirements of both Canadian 
and U.S. forces amounted to more than one million dollars a month at the 
height of construction activity. When the high wage scales paid by U.S. 
contractors threatened to undermine Canadian wage and price ceilings, the 
Canadian Government on 17 May 1943 established a Western Labor Board 



at Edmonton and invited the United States to name a representative to art 
as a special consultant to the board. 1 

The addition of large numbers of Americans, sometimes less concerned 
with the amenities of international and human relations than with the com- 
pelling urge to get the job done, to communities already overcrowded could 
not help but produce occasional friction and misunderstanding. However, 
when the tide of rhe U.S. influx had receded and the fog of fricrion and mis- 
understanding had been dispelled, the solidity of the accomplishments of 
Canadians and Americans working side by side in the spirit of friendly 
co-operation gave testimony to the relative insignificance of the discordances. 

Throughout most of the war the activities in northwest Canada remained 
free from any real threat from enemy operations. Except for the planning 
and other defense measures, Canadian-U.S. co-operation until the end of 1944 
related largely to logistical activities. After the first of the "free" Japanese 
balloons was recovered in California on 4 November 1944, Canada and the 
United States began to co-operate in measures to meet the new threat. The 
balloons, 33 V$ feet in diameter, carried incendiary and antipersonnel bombs 
in suspended baskets. By the war's end, more than 9,000 had been launched 
from Honshu Island, although only a small fraction of that number were 
known to have reached North America.- As the flow of balloons increased 
in early 1945, full co-ordination between the two countries was established. 
Information was exchanged in the field on sightings and recoveries, and U.S. 
military officers ar conferences attended by Canadian representatives examined 
the problem and arranged countermcasures. On rhe Washington-Ottawa 
level, too, a full exchange of operational and technical intelligence was main- 
tained, as a part of which the results of the extensive U.S. studies of the 
balloon equipment were made available to Canada. 

The Northwest Staging Route 

Of the major wartime logistical projects in northwest Canada, only the 
Northwest Staging Route was a joint one in the sense ihat it was developed 
through the full and active participation and co-operation of the two govern- 
ments. Unlike the Alaska Highway, the Canol Project, and other projects 
undertaken after Pearl Harbor, rhe staging route owed its initial development 
to Canadian initiative and foresight.-* Since the early 1920's bush pilots had 

1 H. C. Debates. 21 Mar 44, p. L701, Linjtard and Trotter, Canada in World Affair), 111, 72; 
Privy' Council 3870, 17 May 43- See also lCh. Vl above. 

1 Conn, Engelman, and Fairchild, Guarding the United States and Its Outposts, Ch, III. 

* The fullest public account of the development of this route is to be found in the historical 
monograph, History of che Northwest Air Route to Alaska: 1942-1945, which is in the files 
of the Headquarters, Military Air Transport Service. This official monograph was completed by 
Maj. Edwin R, Carr and submitted by him to che University of Minnesota as a doctoral disser- 
tation under the title '"Great Falls to Nome: The Inland Air Route to Alaska, 1940-1945." 



been pioneering airways in the general area, and in 1935 the Canadian De- 
partment of Transport initiated a survey of alternate air routes to Alaska. A 
partial, if not immediate, object of the survey was to seek an air route that 
might one day form part of the great circle route to the Orient. As a result 
of the survey, the air route from Edmonton to Alaska was selected as the most 
favorable. 4 

In 1939 detailed engineering work was authorized and airfields were 
planned at Grande Prairie, Fort St. John, Fort Nelson, Watson Lake, and 
Whitehorse. At the outbreak of war in Europe in September 1939, survey 
parties were in the field. In view of the airfield construction that would 
thereafter be required for the RCAF training program, Ottawa gave some 
consideration to terminating the surveys. The Canadians concluded that upon 
U.S. entry into the war, which was a possibility, this air route would attain 
real strategic importance and the surveys should therefore be pushed to com- 
pletion. When the surveys were completed in January 1940, the preparation 
of detailed plans and specifications was initiated in Ottawa. 5 

The next steps in the development of the air route were not taken until 
after the establishment of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, when the 
United States began to show an interest in the project. The several drafts 
of the 1940 defense plan, beginning with the very first joint draft prepared 
by the service members of the Board on 11 September 1940, stated that, in 
order to execute essential defense tasks, the additional installations that would 
be needed included aircraft staging facilities between Alaska and the United 
States. 6 On 4 October 1940 the Board itself, in approving its First Report 
to the two governments, recommended that Canada develop these facilities as 
soon as possible. 7 

The First Report was under consideration and had already received Cana- 
dian but not U.S. approval when, at the request of its Canadian chairman, 
Colonel Biggar, the Board was briefed on the Canadian development plans 
by Squadron Leader A. D. McLean, who earlier as a civilian had been the 
Canadian Superintendent of Airways. At this meeting, held at Victoria, 
British Columbia, on 14 November 1940, the Board adopted its Tenth Rec- 
ommendation, which stated that Canada should provide, as soon as possible, 
airfields at specified locations and essential facilities to permit rapid move- 

4 H. C. Debates, 29 Feb 44, p. 979. For fuller accounts of the pre-Pearl Harbor develop- 
ment of the route, see J. A. Wilson, "Northwest Passage by Air," Canadian Geographical Jour- 
nal, XXVI (March 1943), 107-29, and Lingard and Trotter, Canada in World Affairs, III, 30- 
34, 73-74. 

5 Wilson, op. at., p. 123n. 

6 Draft Plans at PDB 133-3, -5, and -7. 

7 Appendix B below. 



ment of tactical aircraft to Alaska and northwestern Canada. In addition to 
the airfields on the staging route to Alaska, the recommendation called for 
airfields at Prince George and Smithers to facilitate reinforcement of the 
Prince Rupert-Ketchikan area. 8 The Canadian Government approved the 
project and on 18 December 1940 released funds for it. 

Moves into the field to initiate work on the airfields began on 9 February 
1941. The movement of machines and supplies to some of the selected sites 
was no small task. Whitehorse, Grande Prairie, and Fort St. John, all at or 
near rail facilities, posed no problem. Materials moved to Fort Nelson from 
Dawson Creek over a 300-mile frozen winter trail by tractor trains. Mate- 
rials for Watson Lake moved by steamship to Wrangell, Alaska, thence by 
boat via the Stikine River to Telegraph Creek, by portage over seventy miles 
to Dease Lake, and by boat on the Dease River to Lower Post. From the 
last point they moved over a newly constructed road to Watson Lake. 

The Permanent Joint Board on 29 July 1941 in adopting its Nineteenth 
Recommendation took steps to spur construction. The changed situation in 
the Far East, the recommendation stated, made early completion of the route 
a matter of extreme importance. As a result, the tasks of clearing, grading, 
and paving the runways were pressed during the 1941 summer construction 
season. Work advanced most rapidly at Whitehorse, where an airfield had 
already existed, and at Grande Prairie. By the end of the construction season 
the airway to Whitehorse was usable by daylight in good weather. Radio 
range stations were in operation at 200-mile intervals from Edmonton to the 
Alaska boundary by the end of the year. 9 

In Alaska, too, where in 1940 only the airfields at Anchorage, Fairbanks, 
Juneau, and Nome (on a limited basis) were suitable for military use, the 
U.S. Civil Aeronautics Authority pushed an airfield program intended to meet 
military as well as civilian needs. Progress on the Alaskan airfields and the 
extensions of the staging route was not entirely satisfactory because of diffi- 
culties of transportation and operations on the frozen ground. But by the 
end of 1941 runways had been completed at Nome, Big Delta, Northway, 
and Juneau; runways were under construction but usable at Gulkana, Bethel, 
Cordova, Galena, McGrath, and Naknek. In addition, the Alaska Defense 
Command had improved its fields at Anchorage and Fairbanks and had con- 
structed new ones at Yakutat and Annette Island. 

After the Pearl Harbor attack the staging route was sufficiently far ad- 
vanced to permit its use, and Canada extended the use of its facilities to the 
United States. In early January 1942 the 11th Pursuit (twenty-five P^40 air- 

8 Appendix A below. 

9 Canada s Northern Airfields," The Canada Year Book, 1945, p. 706. Pages 705-12 of 
this volume contain a brief account of the wartime development of all of the northern airfields. 



craft) and 77th Bombardment (thirteen B-26 aircraft) Squadrons were dis- 
patched to Alaska. A month after their dispatch, thirteen P-40's had ar- 
rived, five were still en route, and the rest had crashed; only eight of the 
B-26's arrived, the balance also crashing at points en route. Causes con- 
tributing to this performance were inadequate training of personnel for the 
winter weather conditions encountered and the limited scale of airway facili- 
ties available on the route. The AAF elements en route to Alaska found the 
route as a whole "usable under optimum conditions," but, since such con- 
ditions had not been prevalent during the winter of 1941-42, they made the 
journey only with considerable difficulty. 10 Throughout the same winter 
Canada continued the movement of supplies and further developed the route. 

During the early months of 1942 a small flow of U.S. tactical aircraft con- 
tinued to Alaska, and a military transport aircraft began regular supply opera- 
tions between Edmonton and Fairbanks. To augment the limited military 
transport operations, the AAF turned to the use of commercial airlines on a 
contract basis, and during the remainder of 1942 contract operations constituted 
the major U.S. use of the Northwest Staging Route. 11 

In order to clarify the U.S. need for buildings and facilities on the Cana- 
dian, portion of the Northwest Staging Route, initial discussions took place 
in Ottawa between representatives of the two governments on 11-12 March 
1942. Short-term (thirty-day) as well as longer-term needs were discussed on 
a general basis and were then submitted in detail to the Canadian authorities 
in early April. Under the arrangements made, the Department of Transport 
was to construct hangars for use by the AAF at Edmonton and Whitehorse, 
and barracks, fuel storage, and miscellaneous facilities at all the main air- 
fields, while the AAF would assist in the movement of personnel and mate- 
rials. Meetings in Ottawa on 10 April reviewed and gave approval to the 
arrangements. 12 

New methods for financing Canadian construction for U.S. use, which 
had been discussed informally in Washington on 3 March at a meeting be- 
tween C. D. Howe and Brig. Gen. Robert Olds, came under consideration 
at the 10 April meeting. Heretofore, Canada had been financing all con- 
struction costs on the Canadian portion of the Northwest Staging Route under 
an arrangement whereby each country took care of the work within its own 
territory. 13 The Canadian authorities indicated that Canada would in the 

10 See Craven and Cate (eds.), Plans and Early Operations, pp. 303-04, 357. 
" A full account of these co ntract air ser vices and of the lengthy U.S. -Canadian discussions 
relating thereto will be found in Chapter XI below. 

12 History of the Northwest Air Route to Alaska, 1942-1945, pp. 105-07. 

13 H. C. Debates, 25 Feb 41, p. 1016; Carr, Great Falls to Nome: The Inland Air Route to 
Alaska, 1940-1945, p. 109. The United States had already taken cognizance in the exchange 
of notes on the Alaska Highway (EAS, 246; CTS, 1942, No. 13) of the contribution to over- 
all continental defense by such Canadian expenditures. 



future want payment from the United States for certain of the construction 
to be performed by Canada. The actual decision, taken by the Cabinet War 
Committee on 22 April, provided that Canada would pay for facilities of con- 
tinuing value to the route, while the United States should pay for such facili- 
ties as were over and above Canadian standards and requirements and needed 
solely for U.S. military purposes. Regardless of the source of financing, title 
to all improvements was to be retained by Canada. 14 

Not long afterward, in June 1942, the Japanese penetration of Alaskan 
defenses brought the staging route into spectacular play. On 3-4 June a 
Japanese carrier task force attacked Dutch Harbor, and on 9 June it became 
known that the Japanese had occupied Kiska. To speed urgently needed 
troop reinforcements and supplies to Alaskan bases, the War Department on 
13 June requested eleven U.S. commercial airlines to rush every aircraft that 
could be made available to Edmonton. Over the next few weeks an emer- 
gency airlift of almost fifty aircraft operated around the clock to deliver men 
and materials to Alaska. Many of the aircraft available were also used to 
some extent for airlifting materials with which to speed up the work on the 
Northwest Staging Route. 15 With the emergency over, the more routine air 
transport operations of the U.S. Army expanded in northwest Canada. 

During the first half of 1942 no subordinate field command of the Air 
Corps Ferrying Command was charged with responsibility for the conduct 
of transport operations over the Northwest Staging Route. The need for 
such a step was apparent, and on 16 June the Domestic Wing was charged 
with the conduct of U.S. ferrying operations. Since the U.S. organization in 
the field was to be manned by 15 July, personnel movements began at once 
and detachments arrived at Edmonton and Whitehorse before the end of 
June. As a consequence of the reorganization of the Air Corps Ferrying 
Command into the Air Transport Command, and of the completion of plans 
for ferrying aircraft to Siberia, a new headquarters at Great Falls, Montana — 
the Northwest Route, Ferrying Division— was established on 14 August 
1942. On 17 October in a further organizational change, the Alaskan Wing 
of the Air Transport Command was activated at Edmonton and assumed the 
transport responsibility on 1 November, superseding the headquarters at 
Great Falls. Although further minor organizational changes occurred, the 
basic pattern remained unchanged and the Alaskan Wing proceeded to 

14 Alaskan Division, Historical Record Report, Nov 42-Dec 43 volume, p. 220; The Canada 
Year Book, 1945, p. 708. 

15 Accounts of the emergency operation are to be found in Craven and Cate (eds.), Plans 
and Early Operations, p. 358; Cleveland, Air Transport at War, pp. 163-66; and Cave, Wings 
Across the World, pp. 116-19. 



expand to a strength of 1,231 on 1 January 1943, and to a peak of 9,987 in 
November 1944. 

In midsummer 1942 the Army Air Forces was expressing dissatisfaction 
with the progress of the construction work on U.S. facilities in Canada. At 
the end of April construction of U.S. facilities had not been started, and a 
month later little progress toward completion of the thirty-day program had 
been reported. On 25 June representatives of the two countries met and 
revised the construction requirements to reflect the new program for ferrying 
aircraft to the USSR and agreed that both the new and the earlier construc- 
tion programs should be completed by the end of August. Only two weeks 
later, on 9 July 1942, Mr. Wilson of the Department of Transport acknowl- 
edged that it was doubtful whether even the revised programs could be 
completed as scheduled. 16 

There were many factors that contributed to the lack of progress. 
Among them were insufficient transportation and the shortage of competent 
labor. The need to refer plans to Ottawa, which made U.S. officers chafe, 
occasioned delays. Overoptimistic or unrealistic construction schedules also 
appear to have contributed to the situation. Time-consuming organizational 
and procedural complexities added greatly to delays. 17 Alterations in con- 
struction requirements may also have been a factor— for example, U.S. needs at 
Lethbridge and Calgary, stated on 26 August, were canceled three weeks 
later. As a matter of fact, the U.S. planners had great difficulty in estimat- 
ing future needs for aircraft movements over the route. Estimates in 1942 
ran as high as 5,000 aircraft per month, in contrast with the planning figures 
of from 250 to 300 used in May 1943. During the year 1943 a monthly 
average of over 440 aircraft actually traversed the route. 

The War Department would have liked to carry out its own construction 
program on the Northwest Staging Route, but since it was precluded from 
doing so by the policy announced in March 1942 by the then Minister of 
Transport, C. D. Howe, that it was "in the highest degree desirable 
that . . . [construction of additional facilities needed by the United States] 
should be undertaken by the Department of Transport rather than by the 
United States Government," it sought other means to speed up the work. 18 
On 25 July 1942 at a conference in Great Falls, Montana, Canadian authori- 
ties considered and rejected as impracticable the use of three labor shifts or 
of overtime work because of the predominance of middle-aged men in the 

16 History of the Northwest Air Route to Alaska: 1942-1945, p. 108; Ltr, to U. S. Military 
Attache, 9 Jul 42, reproduced in Alaskan Division, Historical Record Report, II, 42. 

17 See above, |pp. ljl-4~n 

18 Ltr, to Brig Gen Olds, 7 Mar 42, PDB 126. 



labor force. The U.S. representatives urged that U.S. Army Engineer troops 
be used. Canada granted authority in August, and U.S. Engineer troops 
were assigned to the projects. However, because of protests from labor 
groups, the troops were withdrawn from the projects the same month. In 
September, when the strength of the Canadian civilian labor force had fallen 
off considerably, the U.S. Engineer troops were put back on the construc- 
tion work, only to draw additional protests and be withdrawn. 19 

During these same months the War Department did obtain authority 
to construct a number of airstrips, in addition to those on the staging route, 
as an adjunct to the military highway being constructed. There is some 
evidence that this program was an effort on the part of the AAF to over- 
come the unsatisfactory situation on the staging route. About 1 June 1942 
the U.S. Public Roads Administration, which was preparing to undertake 
construction tasks on the Alaska Highway, suggested that plans be included 
for flight strips patterned on a similar program under way along many high- 
ways in the United States. In requesting approval of the project, the AAF 
suggested that the flight strips "would permit the movement of Air Trans- 
port Command equipment on a much more dependable basis than . . . [has 
been] possible with the . . . [existing] system of airports." 20 Canada 
agreed, on 10 September, to the formal request of 26 August 1942 for the 
construction of eight flight strips by the United States at points along the 

Alaska Highway: 21 


Number Point Number 

1 Dawson Creek 

2 Sikanni Chief River 137 

3 Prophet River 245 

4 Liard River 508 

5 Pine Lake 723 

6 Squanga Lake 843 

7 Pon Lake 1,013 

8 Burwash 1,095 

19 History of the Northwest Air Route to Alaska: 1942-1945, pp. 114-15. 

This situation aptly exemplified the disparity between the manpower situations of the two 
countries. Canada, in its fourth year of war, was already plagued by a tight manpower situa- 
tion occasioned by the requirements of the armed forces, industry, agriculture, and merchant 
marine. The United States, which in 1942 could pour the flower of its youth into Canada, was 
not until 1944 faced with manpower difficulties and even then on a lesser scale. The resultant 
political climate in Canada was not improved by the unwillingness of the Canadian Government 
to introduce conscription for fear of a repetition of the unhappy experience in World War I, 
when violent opposition arose in French-Canadian Quebec and el sewhere. 

20 Memo, for CG SOS, 29 Jul 42, Exhibit 4 in Kppendix Til House Committee on Roads, 
79th Congress, 2d Session, House Report 1705, on House Resolution 255, The Alaska High- 
way, p. 98. 

21 EAS, 381; CTS, 1942, No. 26; House Report 1705, 79th Congress, 2d Session, p. 100. 



The flight strips were not to prove of appreciable value to the Air Trans- 
port Command as an augmentation of Northwest Staging Route facilities. 
Because all available construction facilities were being used to push comple- 
tion of the Alaska Highway, work on the flight strips was begun during 
1942 at only one site, Dawson Creek, in late September. The first plane 
landed on the cleared and graded strip on 29 October, but more work re- 
mained to be done in 1943. Work on the other sites did not begin until 
the late summer and autumn of 1943, by which time the highway had been 
substantially completed. Flight strips 3, 5, and 6 were completed by the 
end of 1943, and 2, 4, 7, and 8 were completed in early 1944. 

The American Construction Phase 

United States dissatisfaction with the progress of construction continued 
throughout 1942, and by the beginning of 1943 the Commanding General, 
Army Air Forces, felt that drastic action was necessary to improve the 
"deplorable" condition of the staging route. He recommended that, in order 
to prevent serious delays in movement of aircraft to and through Alaska, the 
U.S. Army take over completion of the work being done by Canada to meet 
U.S. needs. Maj. Gen. Guy V. Henry, newly appointed Senior U.S. Army 
Member of the Permanent Joint Board, proceeded cautiously in acting on 
the request and first sought elaboration of the purported difficulties." 

On 12 February 1943 the U.S. Government informally proposed that the 
United States take over certain unfinished construction at Edmonton, Grande 
Prairie, Fort St. John, Fort Nelson, Watson Lake, and Whitehorse (Plan A) 
and be authorized to construct additional facilities at Edmonton and White- 
horse (Plan B). The preliminary Canadian reaction was favorable and in- 
cluded the suggestions that the proposal would be strengthened if the Per- 
manent Joint Board endorsed it, and that a meeting should be held to work 
out the details. 23 

Meetings of representatives of the RCAF, AAF, and Department of 
Transport took place in Ottawa on 18, 19, and 20 February. The labor 
problems arising from the shortage of labor, the competition between Cana- 
dian and U.S. contractors, and the different rates paid Canadian and U.S. 
laborers played a prominent part in the discussions. The conferees agreed 
that the Department of Transport should complete construction already 
under way with assistance from U.S. Engineer troops wherever practicable. 
This included the work at the five original staging route airfields and 

22 Ltr, CG AAF to SUSAM, 7 Jan 43, and Ltr, CG ATC to SUSAM, 5 Feb 43, both in 
PDB 105-13. 

"Memo/Conv, Hickerson and Clark, 13 Feb 43, PDB 105-13. 



Flight Strips at the Watson Lake Airport constructed by U.S. Army Engineers. 

Edmonton, and at certain intermediate strips and facilities that Canada had 
undertaken to construct at Snag, Aishihik, Teslin, Smith River, Beatton 
River, and Calgary. Subject to approval of detailed plans and to certain 
conditions as to the use of U.S. labor, the United States was to be author- 
ized to execute the Plan B construction at Whitehorse and Edmonton. 
During the meetings the U.S. representatives outlined tentative additional 
requirements (Plan C) emerging from plans being developed for the defeat 
of Japan. These requirements included an expansion of facilities at White- 
horse, Watson Lake, Fort Nelson, Fort St. John, Grande Prairie, and a new 
airfield at Namao, near Edmonton, to relieve possible congestion at the 
Edmonton airfield. The conferees agreed that subject to similar conditions 
the United States could initiate the additional construction, even the devel- 
opment of new airfields. 24 

The Permanent Joint Board on Defense at its 24-25 February 1943 
meeting considered the recommendations of the conferees and adopted the 
Twenty-ninth Recommendation, which substantially embodied them. 25 

24 Minutes of meetings and joint recommendation, 20 Feb 43, by the senior conferees to the 
PJBD PDB 105-1 3. 

" |Appendix A,| below. 



President Roosevelt approved the Board recommendation on 1 April, but 
Canadian action was not immediately forthcoming. In addition to ponder- 
ing the question of whether to depart from the policy of having Canada 
accomplish all work on the Northwest Staging Route, the Canadian Gov- 
ernment was engaged in studies and discussions designed to clarify the inter- 
governmental procedures for processing project requests, co-ordinating 
activities, and solving labor and similar problems. 

On 27 April the newly designated commanding officer of the Air Transport 
Command's Alaskan Wing, Col. D. V. Gaffney, met with Department of 
Transport officers in Ottawa and stated that because of changes made in 
U.S. development plans, his requirements were being restudied and a revised 
program would be submitted in place of the one then under discussion. 26 
On 18 May 1943, with Canadian approval not yet given to the Twenty- 
ninth Recommendation, Maj. Gen. Thomas M. Robins of the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers met in Ottawa with C. D. Howe, Minister of Munitions 
and Supply. They worked out an understanding under which the United 
States was to take over the work already initiated by Canada on Plan B and 
at other sites, to continue to utilize the contractors already on the job, and 
to add others to permit faster execution of the work. 27 The United States 
on 24 May submitted its proposals to Canada for formal approval, at the 
same time indicating the possible need for considerable additional expansion 
of the facilities. 

The formal Canadian reply to the U.S. proposals, received on 3 June, 
appeared to counter the understandings reached at the May meeting since it 
approved the projects but specified that all work of a permanent character 
would continue to be done by the Canadian Government using Canadian 
labor. 28 Somewhat dismayed by the apparent change in policy and con- 
cerned over its impact on the supplementary Plan C, which had been 
developed and awaited submission to the Canadian Government, the U.S. 
authorities sought informally to clarify the situation. They were advised 
that some confusion within the Canadian Government was the cause of the 
reversal, and that the matter could probably be straightened out during con- 
sideration of the new Plan C. 

The United States on 11 June 1943 submitted the new plan to Canada 
for approval, and the Cabinet War Committee on 18 June approved it sub- 
ject to the following provisions: 

a. All unfinished construction under Plans A, B, and C, except in the 

26 Minutes of meeting, PDB 105-13. 

27 Minutes of meeting, PDB 111-12. 

28 Ltr, Keenleyside to Clark, 3 Jun 43, PDB 105-13. 



Edmonton area, could be completed with U.S. labor. Canadian contractors 
and labor on such work were to be withdrawn. 

b. The United States could complete the work in the Edmonton area, 
but could use only Canadian contractors and Canadian labor. 29 

The Canadian Government officially notified the United States of the ap- 
proval on 22 June and a few days later modified the first provision to exclude 
the work Canada was carrying out at Beatton River, Smith River, Teslin, 
Aishihik, and Snag, since the projects at these intermediate facilities were 
almost complete. 30 Except for the limitations on construction work in the 
Edmonton area, the revised authority conformed to the understandings 
reached at the 18 May meeting. On the U.S. side, the authorities were will- 
ing to give the modified arrangement a trial to see if the solution was 
adequate. 31 

The tentative departure from the 18 May understandings had apparently 
been the result of confusion compounded with Canadian reluctance to turn 
over construction tasks to the United States. There were a number of rea- 
sons for the Canadian position. First, although the bulk of the unfinished 
work was on Plan B projects, over and above the basic U.S. requirements, a 
transfer of the construction responsibility might make it appear that Canada 
had failed in its undertakings. Second, Canada naturally preferred to do all 
permanent work itself and thereby maintain full control rather than risk 
any trend toward the establishment of a vested U.S. interest. Nevertheless, 
Canada, when convinced that its construction capabilities were not equal to 
the expanded requirements for facilities at all points on the staging route, 
was ready to agree to the use of U.S. troops and labor except in the Edmon- 
ton area. In this area the labor situation in general and wages and other 
difficulties inherent in the operations of Canadian and U.S. contractors side 
by side were especially complicated. This remaining exception was a logical 
outgrowth of the local political and economic situation and, in the light of 
the release of Canadian contractors from other airfields, did no violence to 
the time limits for the work to be done in the Edmonton area. 32 

The Canadian Government took other concurrent action to help insure 
that the new arrangement would not allow the United States to intrude un- 
duly upon Canadian sovereignty. On 7 July 1943 the Cabinet War Com- 
mittee decided that the Canadian Government should (a) take over all 

29 Ltrs, Clark to Hickerson, and Keenleyside to Clark, 22 Jun 43, both in PDB 105-13. 
50 Ibid.; Ltr, Keenleyside to Clark, 26 Jun 43, PDB 105-13. 
"Memo, Robins for Hickerson, 26 Jun 43, D/S 81 1 .24542/5 1-1/2 . 

32 Ltr, Clark to .Hickerson, 22 Jun 43, PDB 105-13. For a discussion of criticism in Canada 
of the government's failure to undertake even greater construction responsibilities than it had, 
see Lingard and Trotter, Canada in World Affairs, III, 72. 



existing leases for land used by the U.S. Government, (b) assume the costs 
of all properties acquired for the United States and make the properties 
available without charge for the duration of the war, and (c) acquire any 
additional land required for U.S. Government use. The decision was com- 
municated to U.S. officials in Ottawa on 7 September. 55 

The Canadian Government, having virtually completed the program of 
construction to meet the basic Canadian and U.S. requirements at the main 
airfields of the Northwest Staging Route, closed out its contracts and with- 
drew its construction forces on 12 July 1943. United States Army Engineers 
undertook a further program of expansion and development of the airfields 
to meet the increasing volume of air traffic. The major task of this pro- 
gram was the construction of the satellite field at Namao, seven miles north 
of Edmonton, the contract for which was let to a Canadian company. 34 
With the exception of the completion of work at a few intermediate facili- 
ties, construction at the six existing main airfields and at Namao continued 
throughout the remainder of 1943 under U.S. Army control. In general, 
Plan C, which had been reduced in scope, included repair and expansion of 
runways, taxiways, and parking aprons and the construction of housing and 
service and other facilities necessary to raise the capacity of the route to 100 
transport and 350 ferried aircraft per month. By the end of the year the 
work was substantially complete, except at Namao, where the development 
had started from scratch. 

In early 1944 the Air Transport Command desired to expand the capacity 
of the staging route to 110 transport and 425 ferried aircraft per month. 
For this purpose, and to provide adequate accommodations for the necessary 
increase in personnel, a Plan D was advanced and Canadian approval was 
requested. Construction under the plan consisted of items such as ware- 
houses, gas stations, turnarounds, and warm-up aprons. In addition, ap- 
proval was requested for a program of repairs to the runways of the main 
airfields of the route.-"' 

These requests reached the Canadian Government shortly after it had 

"Privy Council 6998, 7 Sep 43. The U.S. officials were able to report in March 1944 that 
the arrangements were acceptable. (D/S Desp 241, to Ott, 10 Mar 44, D/S 811.24542/76; 
Privy Council 3869, 23 May 44.) The mechanics of transfer of existing leaseholds and of ac- 
quisition of new ones were worked out with U.S. Army representatives at a meeting in Ottawa 
on 20 October 1944. The conclusions of the meeting, which provided that Canada would 
assume the payment of rentals dating from 7 September 1943, were formalized in an exchange 
of notes on 28 and 30 December 1944. (CTS, 1944, No. 34.) Apparently the notes were not 
published by the Department of State in its Treaties and Other International Acts Series. 

M Canada, Wartime Information Board, Defense Projects in Northwest Canada (Ottawa: 1944, 
mimeographed), p. 2. 

"Ltrs, SUSAM to Cdn Air Member, PJBD, 17 Jan 44, 14 and 21 Feb 44, OPD 580.82 
Can (27 Jan 44). 



again revised its policies with regard to the facilities on the staging route. 
On 18 December 1943 Canada had notified the United States of its decision 
to finance all work of permanent value on the northwest route, which em- 
braced work done by or at the request of the United States on items that 
had originally been considered to be over and above Canadian standards and 
requirements. 36 The Canadian Government had also decided to reinstitute 
the use of Canadian contractors and labor in future development work. Its 
reply to the U.S. requests, while approving the projects, specified that all 
future construction of a permanent nature would be done by the Canadian 
Government not only at its expense but also through use of Canadian con- 
tractors and labor to the fullest extent possible. 37 

Canada apparently considered the U.S. requests a practicable opportunity 
to achieve several ends. First, it could re-establish more complete control 
over the development of the airfields, an objective that was politically de- 
sirable for the work to be done at Canadian expense. Second, it could 
insure employment for Canadian contractors and labor as they were being 
released from other projects. Too, the execution by Canada of the addi- 
tional projects would provide useful experience for the postwar development 
of civil aviation in Canada. 

The War Department sought reconsideration of the Canadian reply on 
the grounds that, since the change-over to Canadian labor would involve 
loss of at least two months, only prompt action would prevent the airports 
from being inoperative during the coming summer. Canada reaffirmed its 
position, although it authorized the United States to complete all work at 
Whitehorse and Fort St. John. 38 

With the United States at least officially resigned to the new arrange- 
ments, the Northwest Service Command found their implementation not 
entirely to its liking. When that headquarters learned that the design 
specifications for the repair and rehabilitation work had been changed by the 
Canadian Department of Transport, it requested opportunity to review and 
analyze them, citing prior Canadian agreement to consult on any changes 
that were made to the U.S. plans. On analyzing the Department of Trans- 
port specifications, the U.S. Army Engineers took issue with the Canadian 
plans for work at all four airfields — Grande Prairie, Fort Nelson, Watson 
Lake, and Edmonton. The report of the U.S. analysis criticized the tech- 

« EAS, 405; CTS, 1944, No. 19. The policy was announced by Canada on 29 February 1944. 
(H. C. Debates, p. 980.) For data on the expenditures by each country on Northwest Staging 
Route improvements, see | Chapter XII, I below. 

57 Ltr, Cdn Air Member, PJBD to SUSAM, 17 Mar 44, OPD 580.82 Can (27 Jan 44). 

58 Ltr, Atherton to Department of External Affairs, 28 Mar 44, and Reply, 3 Apr 44, PDB 



nical adequacy of the proposed rehabilitation designs and forecast runway 
failures at three of the sites. 39 

As it turned out, the dire consequences of a change-over to Canadian 
responsibility predicted by the War Department for the summer of 1944 
failed to materialize to the extent of having a serious impact on flight opera- 
tions, although the technical discussions as to design criteria for the rehabili- 
tation work by Canada at the four airports continued to the end of 1944 and 
into the spring of 1945. On V-E Day arrangements were in hand for com- 
pletion of field tests for evaluation of the design criteria, but with the 
arrival of V-J Day the matter was dropped. 

The initial conception of and much of the construction on the North- 
west Staging Route were Canadian accomplishments, and only the programs 
of construction at the main airfields executed from July 1943 into 1944, plus 
some temporary and limited permanent construction thereafter, were under- 
taken by the United States. But the U.S. construction programs carried 
out during the one working season comprised a substantial portion of the 
total construction at the main bases. United States expenditures on the 
staging route project of approximately $40 million were about twice the 
amount of Canadian expenditures on the route during the wartime period. 
That so much construction could be carried out in the one season was the 
result of careful planning during the preceding months and of the mobiliza- 
tion of extraordinary resources. The use of construction facilities on a lavish 
scale was to some extent uneconomical, and therefore the two-to-one ratio 
of expenditures does not accurately measure the relative accomplishments. 
Nor does this ratio reflect the handicaps suffered by the Canadians in the 
earlier years because of the severely limited transportation facilities avail- 
able. 40 The eight flight strips proposed originally as adjuncts to the Alaska 
Highway and built by the United States came in practice to fill the need for 
emergency and alternate landing fields on the staging route. Except for 
these flight strips and minor construction at the Calgary and Prince George 
airfields, all facilities supplemental to the main airfields were also developed 
by Canada. 

The wartime construction of another air route in northwest Canada was, 
on the other hand, almost entirely a U.S. -sponsored contribution to the 
expansion of the airways system of that area. As with the Northwest Stag- 
ing Route, U.S. expenditures for improvements of lasting value were repaid 
by Canada. The development of this route, the Mackenzie River air route, 

59 Ltr, CG NWSC to Foster, 4 May 44, and Ltr, SUSAM to Cdn Air Member, PJBD, 20 
Sep 44, PDB 105-27. 

40 For details of expenditures by both countries, see |Table 7, | below, p. 324. 



began in September 1942 soon after the initiation of the Canol Project and 
the construction of facilities for the operation of the water route from 
Waterways to Norman Wells. 

The project was born in a slight fog of misunderstanding. Col. Theo- 
dore Wyman, the U.S. Army commander of the Canol Project, initiated the 
construction of fourteen landing strips during the summer of 1942 without 
having secured specific authorization from the Canadian Government. Upon 
learning of the project, the Canadian Government on 17 September asked 
about the accuracy of reports that the United States intended to construct 
and operate a chain of airports in the area. The inquiry pointed out that 
the work had been neither foreseen nor provided for in the diplomatic 
agreement covering the Canol Project and that the Canadian Government 
had not been officially informed of the project. 41 

In reply, the United States notified Canada that the fourteen installations 
would in fact be only landing strips whose construction was incidental to 
the prosecution of the Canol Project. No special authorization had been 
considered necessary since it was felt that the original agreement had en- 
compassed essential supply lines and means of communication. The United 
States pointed out that special authorization had not been necessary for the 
developments on the water route to the Norman Wells airfields, nor had 
one been contemplated for the development and use of the winter roads to 
the same point. The United States indicated a willingness to arrange an 
agreement if one was considered necessary. Apparently the Canadians 
accepted the U.S. explanation, for they made no reply and the exchange 
of correspondence was later cited as the authority for the project. 42 

The airstrips formed a route parallel to the water route from Waterways 
to Norman Wells. A cutoff from Peace River to Fort Providence paralleled 
the winter road from the railhead at the former. All were equipped with 
lighting, and six with radio range beacons. The main strips were at Water- 
ways, Fort Smith, Fort Simpson, and Norman Wells. Those at Peace River, 
Mills Lake, Wrigley, Embarras, Fort Resolution, Hay River, Fort Providence, 
and Camp Canol were essentially for emergency purposes. At Waterways 
and Peace River, the existence of landing facilities reduced the work neces- 
sary to develop the sites to the required standards. The work of clearing 
and grading the strips was for the greater part accomplished by U.S. Army 
Engineer troops, although civilian contractors did all or part of the work 
at a few of the sites. Little work was done beyond the clearing and grading 

41 Ott Leg Desp 3614, 17 Sep 42, PDB 110-11. 

42 Ltr, Moffat to Keenleyside, 5 Oct 42, PDB 110-11. See below, [pp~228-35| 



and the installation of minimum flying aids. As a result, the expenditures 
at all sites totaled only $1,264,150. 

Proposals to develop part of the Mackenzie River air route and extend it 
to Fairbanks to provide an alternate air route to Alaska were discussed in 
Ottawa at the 18-19 February 1943 meeting called to consider the construc- 
tion program on the Northwest Staging Route. The new route, called the 
Low-level Route, would originate at Fort Nelson and proceed via Fort 
Simpson, Wrigley, Norman Wells, Fort Good Hope, Fort McPherson, Old 
Crow, and Fort Yukon to Fairbanks. Advantages of the new route were 
that it would provide (1) a means of preventing congestion at Whitehorse, 
where expansion was limited by physical conditions, (2) an alternate route if 
the existing route was interrupted at Whitehorse or some other point in 
close proximity to the coast, (3) facilities capable of handling extraordinary 
transport operations, (4) alternate weather conditions, and (5) a route for 
carrying out night operations, which were virtually impossible in winter on 
the existing route. 43 

The Permanent Joint Board on Defense considered the proposals a few 
days later. The Board did not adopt a recommendation on the subject, but 
the Canadian Section undertook to obtain governmental approval of the 
project. 44 The matter dragged until early April, when Canadian authorities 
in Washington sought more information on the project. By then it ap- 
peared that the Cabinet War Committee, although unenthusiastic about the 
project, would probably agree to it. At the same time it became evident on 
the U.S. side that the Army Air Forces had made no definite plans for carry- 
ing out the project but had only intended that preliminary inquiries be made 
of Canada. After re-examining the need for the Low-level Route, the War 
Department concluded that the Northwest Staging Route would be able to 
handle all requirements. In consequence, the U.S. Section withdrew its 
request in the Permanent Joint Board for approval of the project and asked 
Canada to postpone indefinitely consideration of it. 45 The Canadian Gov- 
ernment nevertheless proceeded with a survey of the route with a view to 
its possible future development. 

Traffic Along the Staging Route 

From the U.S. point of view, the Northwest Staging Route provided 
facilities serving three main purposes: (a) the movement of tactical aircraft 

^ Minutes, 18-19 Feb 43 PJBD meeting, PDB 105-13; Memo, ATC for SUSAM, 9 Apr 43, 
PDB 110-11. 

44 Journal, 24-25 Feb 43 meeting, PDB 124. 

45 Memos, SUSAM for Hickerson, 16 and 19 Apr 43, PDB 110-11; Journal, 6-7 May 1943 
PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 


to the defense garrisons in Alaska, (b) the delivery of aircraft for the USSR 
at Fairbanks, whence they continued to the Soviet Union via Siberia, and 
(c) the administrative and logistical support of the Alaskan garrison and of 
the U.S. projects in western Canada. The numbers of aircraft delivered over 
the Northwest Staging Route in the first two categories were as follows: 46 

Year Total For USSR For AAF 

Total 8,646 7,930 716 

1942 311 148 163 

1943 2,776 2,491 285 

1944 3,276 3,148 128 

1945 2,283 2,143 140 

The great bulk of these aircraft were fighter and other short-range types that 
could not have been delivered to Alaska by air in the absence of the staging 

As is readily apparent from these figures, the movement of aircraft over 
the route for ferrying to the USSR represented a much greater operation 
than the movement of aircraft to the Alaskan defense garrison. The ferry- 
ing arrangement had first been discussed on 4 August 1941, when Secretary 
of War Stimson and Soviet Ambassador Constantine Oumansky agreed in 
principle on the plan. The Russians were not enthusiastic about use of the 
Siberia route, and it was not until March 1942 that a detailed plan was pre- 
sented. In April President Roosevelt in a personal message urged Premier 
Stalin to accept the plan, which he did in July. Under it the Ferrying Divi- 
sion of the Air Transport Command delivered the aircraft to a Soviet detach- 
ment at Ladd Field, Fairbanks, Alaska. There Russian pilots tested and 
accepted the aircraft and then staged them through Nome into Siberia. 
The first aircraft were delivered to Soviet representatives in Fairbanks on 4 
September. Pilots to fly the aircraft away did not arrive until 24 September. 
Once the program was fully organized, aircraft deliveries took place in 
steadily increasing numbers. 47 

United States air transport operations to Alaska were largely carried out 
by the Alaskan Wing of the Air Transport Command, although the Naval 
Air Transport Service also operated over the route. From mid-1943 on, 
from thirty-five to forty aircraft were assigned to the Alaskan Wing for these 

46 Special Senate Committee Investigating the National Defense Program, 79th Congress, 2d 
Session, Hearings on Senate Resolution 46, 80th Congress, extending Senate Resolution 71, 77th 
Congress, Investigation of the National Defense Program, Pt. 39, p. 23470. 

47 For fuller accounts of the arrangements, see History of the Northwest Air Route to Alaska, 
1942-1945, and Admiral William H. Standley, "Stalin and World Unity," Collier's June 30, 
1945. Other sources are The Northwest Route Under the Ferrying Division: 16 June 1942- 
1 November 1942, and Organizational History of the Ferrying Division: 20 June 1942-1 August 



operations, most of them commercial aircraft operating under contract. The 
air transport accomplishments of the Alaskan Wing are indicated in the 
following table: 48 

Year Ton-miles miles 
1942 (July-December) 6,145,000 13,176,000 

1943 19,674,000 86,850,000 

1944 30,801,000 153,905,000 

1945 (January-September) 23,006,000 116,337,000 

The number of total arrivals at the main airfields, including Edmonton, 
perhaps gives a better layman's appreciation of the scale of activity along 
the route: 49 

Week Total AAF RCAF Civilian 

14-20 August 1943 2,505 782 1,497 226 

12-18 August 1944 1,381 990 230 161 

11-17 August 1945 867 539 214 114 

The Alaska Highway 
Of the logistical projects undertaken by the United States in Canada dur- 
ing World War II, two stand out far above the others in magnitude, the 
complexity of the problems met, and the size of the construction organiza- 
tions assembled to execute them. These projects were the construction of 
the Alaska Highway and the related Canol Project.' United States govern- 
mental agencies had several times since 1930 examined proposals for a high- 
way between the United States and Alaska. Before Pearl Harbor the War 
Department in commenting on such proposals could find little or no imme- 
diate military utility in such a highway. When the proposals of the joint 
Alaskan International Highway Commission for a highway between British 
Columbia and Alaska were discussed by the Permanent Joint Board on 
Defense on 15 November 1940, the Board unanimously agreed that the mili- 
tary value of a road following either of the two routes then proposed would 
be negligible. The Board, it may be noted, did not rule on the merits of a 
road to Alaska but only on the two proposed routes, which lay west of the 
Rocky Mountain Range. At the same meeting the Board did adopt its 
Tenth Recommendation, calling for the construction of the air staging facili- 

48 Alaskan Division, Historical Record Report, Nov 44-Sep 45 volume, p. 395. 

49 PDB 105-28. These figures include the tactical aircraft deliveries tabulated on page 216. 
RCAF arrivals for the week 14-20 August 1943 include those incident to operations of No. 2 
Air Observers School and Aircraft Repair, Ltd. 

Some data on Air Transport Command operations on the route may be found in Cave, Wings 
Across the World; Cleveland, Air Transport at War; and Oliver LaFarge, The Eagle in the Egg 
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1949). 

50 A fairly voluminous literature on the highway is included in the bibliography. By far the 
most detailed account is contained in House Report 1705, 79th Congress, 2d Session. 



ties between the United States and Alaska, and this action held real 
significance for the future routing of the Alaska Highway. 51 

During 1941 general interest in a highway to Alaska grew. In January 
1941 Dr. Vilhjalmur Stefansson, famous Arctic authority, recommended to 
the War Department the construction of a highway to Alaska via the 
Mackenzie and Yukon River valleys. 52 Officials of Alaska, British Columbia, 
Alberta, and the several U.S. adjacent border states urged routes favoring 
their own geographic interest. 53 In April 1941 Secretary of State Hull sought 
the support of Prime Minister King for a highway. King "was not entirely 
favorable in holding out hope for immediate co-operation," since the Per- 
manent Joint Board had believed the construction of facilities on the air 
route to Alaska to be more important. In July Mayor LaGuardia, U.S. 
chairman of the Permanent Joint Board, joined the proponents of a highway, 
and by October the War Department had declared itself in favor of a high- 
way "as a long-range defense measure." 54 

The Pearl Harbor attack and the subsequent Japanese menace to west 
coast shipping radically altered the picture. Members of the President's 
Cabinet at a meeting on 16 January 1942 discussed the possibility that sea 
communications to Alaska would be interrupted and the desirability of con- 
structing a highway through Canada. The President appointed a commit- 
tee, comprising the Secretaries of War, the Navy, and the Interior, to study 
the need for a highway. While this study went forward, Roosevelt took up 
with General Marshall and Admiral King possible enemy intentions toward 
Alaska and the state of the defenses there, which the President considered 
unsatisfactory. Marshall and King anticipated a Japanese raid on Alaska 
and were troubled by the difficulty of providing air reinforcements. 55 
Although Admiral King admitted the vulnerability of the coastal shipping 
route, he would not agree that it was necessary to construct a highway to 
Alaska on the basis that the U.S. Navy could not adequately protect coastal 
shipping, nor would he categorically commit the Navy to insuring uninter- 
rupted sea communications to Alaska under all circumstances. The Army 
considered Admiral King's position equivocal and unsatisfactory. 

51 Journal, PDB 124; see above jpp. 200-207.| 

52 House Report 1705, 79th Congress, 2d Session, p. 7. 

55 For a comparison of the various routes proposed, see House Report 1705, 79th Congress, 
2d Session. Dr. Vilhjalmur Stefansson supports his proposal in "The North American Arctic," 
Compass of the World, eds. V. Stefansson and H. W. Weigert (New York: The Macmillan 
Company, 1944), pp. 233-40. 

54 Memo/Conv, 17 Apr 41, D/S 711.42/214; House Report 1705, 79th Congress, 2d Session, 
p. 8. 

" Memos, Roosevelt for Marshall and Adm King and for Capt McCrae, 20 Jan 42, Memo, 
Marshall for President, 21 Jan 42; all in Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 1. See above, pp. 



On 2 February the Cabinet committee met with War Department offi- 
cials and concluded that a highway was needed and that it should follow 
the line of airports of the air staging route to Alaska. From the military 
point of view, this alignment had the merits of providing a land route to 
Alaska, a means of supplying the air bases on the Northwest Staging Route, 
and a ground guide for pilots flying aircraft over this route. The Army 
Chief of Staff endorsed the plan, and on 11 February the President approved 
it, allocating an initial $10 million from his emergency fund and directing 
that arrangements be made with Canada through the Permanent Joint Board 
on' Defense. 56 

Arrangements with Canada were initiated the next day without awaiting 
a Board meeting. Minister Moffat in Ottawa, who had warned the Cana- 
dians of the impending decision a week earlier, was instructed by the State 
Department on 12 February to request authority for the dispatch of U.S. 
survey detachments and for construction of the road. The next day Canada 
readily granted permission for the "proposed survey," and Moffat reported 
that Canadian approval of a survey included authority for construction of 
a pioneer road such as would be needed in connection with the survey. 57 
On the basis of the partial approval received, and in anticipation of approval 
of the entire project, the War Department on 14 February ordered the Chief 
of Engineers to undertake construction of a pioneer road from Fort St. John 
to Boundary, Alaska. 

The Permanent Joint Board at its 25-26 February 1942 meeting considered 
the U.S. proposal for the construction of the Alaska Highway. 58 Some of 
the Canadian members were not entirely satisfied that the project was of 
sufficient value to justify the diversion of resources needed elsewhere, par- 
ticularly since by 1 January 1944, the estimated date of completion, they 
assumed that U.S. sea and air communications to Alaska would be secure. 
Canadian Department of Mines and Resources officials were even skeptical 
of the feasibility of constructing a road along the line of airports because of 
the muskeg areas and winter survey difficulties that would be encountered. 
Nevertheless, "for reasons of general policy," the Canadian Section supported 
the Twenty-fourth Recommendation proposed by the U.S. Section. 59 The 

56 House Report 1705, 79th Congress, 2d Session, pp. 9-11, 88-89; Memo, CofS for Adm 
King, 4 Feb 42, and Reply, 5 Feb 42, WPD 4327-27. 

"Ott Leg Desp 2592,' 14 Feb 42, D/S 842.154 Seattle-Fairbanks Hwy/359. 
58 Department of State Bulletin. March 21, 1942, VI, 237. 

" Keenleyside MS; Memo/Conv, Moffat and Hickerson, 7 Feb 42, and Moffat and Robert- 
son, 6 Mar 42, Moffat Diary. 

The journal for the Board meeting does not record these Canadian doubts, but only the 
agreement reached by the Board as a whole on the need for a highway on the basis of a num- 
ber of military considerations that were discussed in detail. 



U.S. Army Engineers Constructing- a Pioneer Road to Alaska through virgin 
forests, May 1942. 

U.S. Section informed the Board that the United States was willing to 
assume the responsibility for and the whole cost of constructing and main- 
taining the highway. In undertaking to meet the cost of constructing the 
road, the U.S. Section told the Board, the U.S. Government acknowledged 
the financial burdens Canada had borne since it entered the war in September 
1939, especially in connection with the construction on the Northwest Staging 
Route. The Board then, as its Twenty-fourth Recommendation, proposed 
that, "as a matter pertaining to the joint defense of Canada and the United 
States," a highway be constructed along the line of staging route airports 
and connecting with the existing road systems in Alaska and Canada. 60 

The two governments were not long in approving the Twenty-fourth 
Recommendation. The Canadian Government approved it on 5 March, and 
the next day, 6 March, Prime Minister King informed Parliament of the 

60 Extract of Journal at ftppendix C, | below; see also lAppendix A.I below. Mayor LaGuardia 
reported this background to the President in picturesque language: "We encountered more dif- 
ficulty in giving 'something to somebody' than in collecting a war loan from an ally. . . . 
The Canadians . . fear a terrific political backfire. ... I am sure you will agree that all hell 
will break loose when our Washington and Oregon friends learn of the route." (Ltr, 27 Feb 
42, Roosevelt Papers, Official File, Box 1566.) In apparent reflection of the Canadian attitude 
manifested at the PJBD meeting, the phrase quoted in the text was not included when the 
recommendation was embodied in the diplomatic notes exchanged later. 



project. President Roosevelt on 9 March formally approved the recom- 
mendation covering the project to which he had given informal approval 
several weeks earlier. 61 

In the diplomatic notes exchanged by Canada and the United States on 17 
and 18 March 1942 detailing the terms of the agreement, the United States 
undertook to (1) make the necessary surveys, (2) construct a pioneer road 
using Engineer troops, (3) arrange for the completion of the highway under 
civilian contractors, (4) maintain the highway until six months after the 
termination of the war, and (5) release the highway at that time to become 
an integral part of the Canadian highway system. On its part, Canada agreed 
to (1) provide the right of way, (2) waive import duties, taxes, and charges 
on shipments through Canada and on all equipment and materials to be used 
in construction and maintenance of the highway, (3) remit income tax of 
U.S. residents employed on the project, (4) facilitate entry of construction 
personnel, and (5) permit use of local timber, gravel, and rock for the project. 62 

Only one U.S. proposal occasioned discussion. Canada would not agree to 
guarantee postwar use of the highway to U.S. military vehicles under condi- 
tions to be recommended by the Board. It offered, as an alternative, to "give 
due consideration" to any recommendation which the Board might make along 
these lines. The point was simply omitted from the agreement. 

Several other points were agreed on or clarified at a later time. In an 
exchange of notes between Canada and the United States on 4 and 9 May 
1942, the Canadian Government agreed that it had been the intent of the 
Board that the southern terminus of the highway be Dawson Creek, despite 
the fact that Fort St. John was the southernmost point mentioned in the 
Twenty-fourth Recommendation. Nearly a year later notes exchanged on 10 
April 1943 authorized U.S. use of the highways between Fort St. John and 
the U.S. border as being in keeping with the language and intent of the 
original agreement. Finally, at the suggestion of Mr. Anthony Dimond, 
Alaskan delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, the highway was 
officially named the Alaska Highway on 19 July 1943. 6i 

01 House Report 1705, 79th Congress, 2d Session, pp. 91-92. 

62 EAS, 246; CTS, 1942, No. 13. Ltr, Clark to Hickerson, 29 Mar 42, D/S 842.154 Seattle- 
Fairbanks Hwy/522. The regulations subsequently issued as to exemptions from import duties 
and taxes are contained in Department of National Revenue order WM No. 75, 9 Oct 42, 
published in Canada, Privy Council, Canadian War Orders and Regulations, III (1942), 155-58. 

"EAS, 380; CTS, 1942, No. 22. EAS, 381; CTS, 1943, No. 17. EAS, 331; CTS; 1943, 
No. 10. Concern had been occasioned in Ottawa and in the Department of State by the possi- 
bility that the highway might be christened by unilateral U.S. action through Congressional 
approval of House Joint Resolution 105, introduced by Mr. Dimond on 24 March 1943, rather 
than by a joint and simultaneous announcement in the two capital cities. However, the an- 
nouncement was made while the resolution was awaiting committee action. (Memo/Conv, 
J. G. Parsons and M. Wershof of the Canadian Legation, 30 Apr 43, D/S 842.154 Seattle- 
Fairbanks Hwy/542-1/2. 



Construction on the pioneer road began about a week after President 
Roosevelt formally approved the Alaska Highway project and after the arrival 
of the initial contingent of troops at the Dawson Creek railhead on 16 March 
1942. The force of Engineer troops was soon built up to seven regiments, 
reinforced by ponton, survey, and other units, totaling 394 officers and 
10,765 enlisted men. 64 On 25 October 1942 the pioneer road was completed, 
and its 1,523 miles between Dawson Creek and Fairbanks were passable and 
in use for supply purposes. During succeeding months the pioneer road was 
developed into a well-graded and well-drained two-lane road 26 feet wide. 
In the latter half of 1942 the Engineer troops were reinforced by a construc- 
tion organization (totaling approximately 7,500) under the U.S. Public Roads 
Administration, which, through arrangements worked out with the Chief of 
Engineers, undertook to assist in the pioneer road construction and to de- 
velop the pioneer road into the final-type highway. The construction of the 
final-type road by seventy-seven contractors and four management contractors 
under the Public Roads Administration continued through most of 1943. The 
work involved a civilian force totaling as high as 15,950 using as many as 
11,100 pieces of road-building equipment. By 1 November 1943 construc- 
tion on the Alaska Highway was 96 percent complete, and, except for certain 
bridge construction, the remaining work and the maintenance of the highway 
was taken over by the Army Engineers. 

The completed highway between Dawson Creek and Big Delta, Alaska, 
was a permanent, all-weather road, 1,428 miles long and 26 feet wide, except 
for the southernmost 75 miles which was 36 feet wide. The link with Fair- 
banks was provided from Big Delta by the Richardson Highway, which ran 
from Valdez to Fairbanks. Construction involved 133 bridges 20 feet or more 
in length. About half the footage was steel bridging. The 2,130-foot sus- 
pension bridge over the Peace River was the major structure, and a 2,300- 
foot, one-lane, pile-trestle bridge over the Nisutlin River was the longest. 

The finished highway permitted speeds in safety from 40 to 50 miles an 
hour and had an estimated normal capacity of 400,000 tons annually, which 
might be increased to a maximum of 720,000 tons for emergency military 
purposes. For use as part of a through-road system between the United 
States and Alaska, the highway capacity was limited by the fact that the road 
facilities south from Dawson Creek were poor-quality highways, unusable at 
certain seasons of the year. This limitation could of course be circumvented 
by use of railroad shipments to Dawson Creek. 

M With passenger shipping in critical supply, Canada contributed to this troop movement 
by making available between 1 and 19 April, for nine trips between Seattle or Prince Rupert 
and Skagway, Prince Rupert, Prince George, Princess Norah, and Princess Charlotte. 



Sikanni Chief River Bridge, one of the first bridges to be completed on the Alaska 
Highway. Photograph taken in 1943. 

The construction of the Alaska Highway was a tremendous engineering 
achievement and a tribute to U.S. and Canadian co-operation. Few projects 
could match the complexity and enormity of the task of putting the highway 
through virgin forests within established time schedules and in the face of 
transportation handicaps, muskeg and ice, and thaw, washouts, landslides, 
freezing temperatures, and other weather handicaps. The cost of the con- 
struction work performed on the highway proper was almost $116 million, 
exclusive of the costs of wartime maintenance, of many auxiliary installations, 
and of the final job inventory of materials, supplies, and equipment. These 
two additional categories totaled about $23.5 million. In addition, it has 
been conservatively estimated that the cost of the Engineer troop labor 
involved, not included in the above figures, was $8 million. 6 ' 

With the completion of highway construction and the replacement of the 
initial temporary timber bridges by permanent structures, the required main- 
tenance was easily carried out and was facilitated by the excellent design and 
construction standards. A steady flow of supplies continued over the high- 
way both in support of the construction operations and of the numerous other 
U.S. and C anadian activities in northwest Canada. In late 1943 a U.S. Army 

6 > House Report 17Q5, 79th Congress, 2d Session, p. 22. 



fleet of over 1,500 trucks (ranging from 2V2- to 10-ton capacity) and 27 cross- 
country-type passenger buses was operating on the highway, and during 1943 
moved 134,000 tons of cargo and 42,000 passengers. Hauling for U.S. activi- 
ties alone totaled over 36,700,000 ton-miles in 1943, and over 30,900,000 in 
1944. These figures decreased in 1945 with the closing out of construction 
activities and the operation of the pipeline along the highway for supply of 
gasoline to the air bases and other facilities. 66 As early as the spring of 1943 
the flow of civilan traffic over the highway had become so heavy that a Joint 
Travel Control Board was established at Edmonton. The board included 
representatives of the U.S. Northwest Service Command and of the Canadian 
Special Commissioner for Defense Projects in Northwestern Canada, who 
met to deal with applications for civilian travel. 67 

In September 1944, with U.S. need for use of the highway diminishing, 
the United States suggested in the Permanent Joint Board on Defense the 
transfer of administration and maintenance responsibility to Canada and in- 
dicated its willingness, pursuant to the original agreement, to share the cost 
of the maintenance operations. The Canadian Section pointed out "certain 
difficulties which would confront the Canadian Government in accepting this 
proposal," and, after study and further report, the Board agreed to defer a 
recommendation on the subject. In notifying the War Department of the 
action of the Board, the Senior U.S. Army Member thereof stated that the 
position of the Canadian Section was in line with the previously known 
attitude of the Canadian Government, which did not desire to assume main- 
tenance responsibility for the Canadian portion of the highway, either with 
or without U.S. financial assistance. 68 

Upon the termination of hostilities, the United States again sought to 
transfer the responsibilities to Canada. Canada agreed to assume the re- 
sponsibility for maintenance and operation of the Canadian portion of the 
Alaska Highway on 1 April 1946. On that date transfer was effected with 
appropriate ceremony at Whitehorse, amid general agreement that the high- 
way would be an important factor in the further exploitation of the potential 
of northwestern Canada. 69 

66 For an account of transportation operations on the highway, see Bykofsky and Larson, The 
Transportation Corps: Operations Overseas, pp. 57-65. The authors point out that of the total 
supplies moved along the highway, a net of only 57 tons of supplies had been delivered to the 
Alaska Defense Command by the end of the campaign in the Aleutians. However, this figure 
is consistent with the situation in which ocean shipping was the primary means of transporta- 
tion, with the highway intended for use as an emergency facility. 

67 Journal, 1-14 Jul 43 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 

68 Journal, 6-7 Sep and 7-8 Nov 44 PJBD meetings, PDB 124. Memo, 15 Nov 44, House 
Report 1705, 79th Congress, 2d Session, pp. 246-47. 

69 Canada soon redesignated the Alaska Highway as the Northwest Highway System. (Lester 
B. Pearson, "Canada Looks 'Down North,' " Foreign Affairs, XXIV (July 1946), 641.) 



The need for road and rail facilities over which to bring freight for the 
construction of the Alaska Highway involved the U.S. and Canadian Govern- 
ments in additional negotiations. Freight for the highway was delivered at 
three points— Dawson Creek, Whitehorse, and Fairbanks. The railhead at 
and the connecting highway net to Dawson Creek have already been men- 
tioned. For the Alaskan portion of the highway, freight was delivered to 
Fairbanks principally by the Alaska Railroad after water shipment to either 
Seward or Whittier. Some freight was transported over the Richardson 
Highway, which connected the port of Valdez with Fairbanks and also linked 
the Alaska Highway terminus at Big Delta with Fairbanks. The Glenn 
Highway, between the Richardson Highway and Anchorage, also linked 
Anchorage to the Alaska Highway. Another avenue to the northern por- 
tion of the Alaska Highway was provided by the Tok cutoff connecting the 
Alaska and Richardson Highways. 

A vital link to the center section of the Alaska Highway was the White 
Pass and Yukon Route railway, connecting Skagway and Whitehorse and 
having its origins in 1901 in the Klondike gold rush. Over that railway had 
passed the supplies for the air base at Whitehorse long before the Alaska 
Highway was planned. As construction of the Alaska Highway began, the 
use of this railroad permitted the movement of troops and supplies to a middle 
point on the proposed highway, from which point construction could advance 
in two directions. Still later, large rail shipments were to be made to 
Whitehorse in connection with the Canol Project. 70 

In the fall of 1942 the U.S. need for use of this narrow-gauge (36-inch) 
railroad made it desirable for the U.S. Army to take over its operation. Of 
the three segments making up the White Pass and Yukon Route, the two in 
Canada were owned by companies incorporated in Canada. Arrangements 
for U.S. lease of these two segments for the duration of the war were worked 
out in a meeting in Ottawa on 16 October 1942. On the basis of these ar- 
rangements, the Canadian Government issued an order-in-council establishing 
the legal foundation for U.S. lease and operation of privately owned Canadian 
common carriers. An exchange of notes at Ottawa in February 1943 formalized 
the agreement. 71 

Operation of the White Pass and Yukon Route railway had been taken 
over by the U.S. Army Military Railway Service by 19 October 1942. Dur- 

70 The system known as the White Pass and Yukon Route comprises three companies own- 
ing the three segments of railroad in Alaska, British Columbia, and the Yukon Territory, and 
a fourth company operating shipping on the Yukon River and its tributaries. All four com- 
panies have but one bank account and common officials and shareholders. (See Carl A. Dawson 
(ed.), The New North-West (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1947), pp. 193-98.) 

71 EAS, 390; CTS, 1943, No. 3. The Canadian note also contains the order-in-council, Privy 
Council 10067, 6 Nov 42. 



Train Plowing Through Deep Snow on the White Pass and Yukon Route 

ing the ensuing months, the railway battalion assigned to the task completely 
reconstructed 20 miles of the 111-mile railway, added much new equipment, 
and rehabilitated the property as a whole. During 1943 the narrow-gauge 
railway carried up to 40,000 tons of freight per months 2 

Although the White Pass and Yukon Route offered an excellent means 
of transportation to Whitehorse, U.S. Army Engineers had examined the need 
for an alternate transportation route as early as April 1942. At the meeting 
of the Permanent Joint Board that month, the U.S. Section requested authori- 
zation for construction of a highway between Haines, on the Lynn Canal 
near Skagway, and a point on the Alaska Highway between Kluane and 
Champagne. The Canadian Section of the Board replied that the Canadian 
Government would have no objection to a survey but suggested that the 
question of actual authorization be deferred to a later date. After several 
months had elapsed, the War Department on 14 October 1942 asked for im- 

72 Bykofsky and Larson, The Transportation Corps: Operations Overseas, contains a fuller account 
of the U.S. Army operations over this railway. The peak figure of 47,000 tons was achieved in 
August 1943, while the total for 1943 was 284,532 tons in addition to 22,000 passengers. 



mediate approval for a survey, and it was granted. Less than a month later 
the United States requested Canadian approval for construction of the 
Haines-Champagne cutoff", and the Cabinet War Committee granted it on 18 
October. The exchange of notes formalizing the agreement provided that 
the new section would be considered an integral part of the Alaska Highway 
and would be constructed under the same arrangements that had been agreed 
upon for the highway. 73 

Construction was carried forward the same winter by the Public Roads 
Administration and, beginning in March 1943, by civilian contractor to the 
U.S. Engineer District. In November 1943 the 159-mile cutoff was com- 
pleted, but to standards below those of the Alaska Highway proper. Re- 
sponsibility for the part in Canada passed to Canada on 1 April 1946 along 
with that for the rest of the Alaska Highway. As in the case of the Alaska 
Highway, Canada was under no obligation to continue to maintain the Haines 

Apart from the road construction undertaken in connection with the Canol 
Project, the road system described was the extent of the highway construc- 
tion completed in northwestern Canada during World War II. Other high- 
ways were proposed but did not materialize. A link between Prince George 
and Fort St. John was suggested by the Canadian Section of the Permanent 
Joint Board on Defense at the 7-8 April 1942 meeting, which followed the 
one at which the Alaska Highway was recommended. After examining a 
study on this highway link submitted by the Canadian Section, the U.S. Sec- 
tion at the next Board meeting on 27 April reported its view that such a road 
would have so slight a military value that a sufficiently high construction 
priority would not be warranted. One other proposal never got past the 
preliminary survey stage. In December 1942 the United States sought and 
received authority to undertake a survey for a road from the Mackenzie River 
near Aklavik to the Yukon River. The road, which never materialized, 
would have followed the route Peel River-Rat River-Macdougall Pass-Dell 
River-Porcupine River. 74 

The War Department also examined the feasibility and desirability of 
constructing a rail route to Alaska. A survey for a route between Prince 
George and Fairbanks was authorized by Canada in April 1942 and under- 
taken during the summer. The route surveyed in general followed one of 
the two that had been proposed by the Alaskan International Highway Com- 
mission for a highway. On the basis of the survey the War Department 

"EAS, 382; CTS, 1942, No. 21. 

74 Journals, 27 Apr and 14 Dec 42, and 13 Jan 43 PJBD meetings, PDB 124. 



concluded that a railroad adequate for military purposes could be constructed 
for $112 million. Although informal discussions between the countries took 
place in September and October 1942, the War Department in December 
announced that a military necessity for the railroad did not exist at that time 
and filed the survey "for possible future wartime use." 75 

The Canol Project 

The Canol (from "Canada" and "oil") Project, if not the most spectacular 
wartime military undertaking in Canada, was surely the most debated and 
controversial enterprise. The oil was to come from the Mackenzie River 
field at Norman Wells, where the first oil-producing well had been drilled in 
1920. Oil seepages in that vicinity had been reported by Alexander Mackenzie 
over a hundred years earlier. At the time of the establishment of the Perma- 
nent Joint Board on Defense in August 1940, four of seven wells drilled in 
the general area were producing, and a small refinery was meeting the 
petroleum products needs of the lower Mackenzie valley. 76 

With Pearl Harbor only a few weeks past, the War Department in January 
1942 undertook its initial investigations of the feasibility of using the oil 
resources at Norman Wells to meet military requirements in Alaska and 
northwest Canada. At a Cabinet meeting on 16 January 1942, the President 
indicated to the Secretaries of War and the Navy his concern over the vulner- 
ability of the sea routes to Alaska as well as the critical tanker situation fac- 
ing the Allies. In the War Department intermittent discussion of the Canol 
Project took place in the early months of 1942, while tanker losses mounted, 
the Dutch East Indies oil fields were lost, and Caribbean facilities were shelled 
by German submarines. On 29 April 1942 War Department representatives 
outlined the project to officials of the Imperial Oil Company, Limited, of 
Canada, which owned and operated the oil fields. Action followed quickly. 
The same day James H. Graham, a technical adviser to Lt. Gen. Brehon B. 
Somervell, Commanding General, Services of Supply, recommended and re- 
ceived approval for the project. The next day, 30 April, General Somervell 
directed the Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army, to carry out the project, which 
at this stage called for the drilling of nine additional wells, the erection by 
1 October 1942 of a refinery with a 3,000-barrel daily refining capacity at 

75 WD Press Releases, 4 July and 10 Dec 42; Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, 81st 
Congress, 1st Session, Senate Report 1131 to accompany H. R. 2186, Providing for a Location 
Survey for 'Railroad Facilities Between the United States and Alaska, p. 2. 

76 For an account of the prewar development of the Norman Wells field, see Oliver B. Hopkins, 
"The 'Canol' Project," Canadian Geographical Journal, XXVII (November 1943), 238-49. For a 
detailed account of its wartime development, see Trevor Lloyd, "Oil in the Mackenzie Valley," 
Geographical Review, XXXIV (1944), 275-307. 



Whitehorse, and the construction by 15 September 1942 of a 4-inch pipeline 
between Norman Wells and the refinery. On the following day, 1 May, a 
contract was let to the Imperial Oil Company for the drilling and operating 
of the additional wells. 77 

The decision immediately evoked expressions of doubt and criticism. 
Officers within the War Department and elsewhere in the U.S. Government 
questioned the soundness of the project as a whole or of parts thereof. 
Representatives of the Standard Oil Company of California, which the War 
Department had hired as a consultant on the project, and of the Imperial Oil 
Company commented unfavorably on the project. The Department of State, 
in forwarding instructions to the legation in Ottawa, pointedly noted that it 
had made no examination of the merits of the Canol Project. 78 

Despite the contemporary expressions of doubt, the U.S. decision to 
undertake the project stood. The United States presented its request for 
Canadian approval of the project to the Canadian Government informally on 
1 May and formally on 8 May. Prodded for a reply on 15 May at the in- 
stance of the U.S. Army Engineers who were anxious to utilize the full 
summer construction season, Canadian officials informally indicated that they 
were not declining assistance but had serious doubts about the soundness of 
the proposition. They suggested that the United States give the project addi- 
tional consideration. The War Department on 18 May reaffirmed its request 
to the Department of State and indicated that the reconsideration of the 
Canol Project at Canada's suggestion had confirmed the decision to under- 
take it, and that the risk involved was justified in terms of the critical situa- 
tion. The State Department immediately informed Canada of the War 
Department position, and the same day the Canadian Government signified 
its approval, which had actually been granted by the Cabinet War Committee 
on 16 May 1942. 79 

Discussion of the formal diplomatic arrangements followed, and the 

77 An extensive list of literature on the Canol Project is included in the bibliography. The 
most authoritative and fully documented data result from the investigation by the Senate Special 
Committee Investigating the National Defense Program. They are contained in Special Senate 
Committee Investigating the National Defense Program, 78th Congress, 1st Session, Hearings 
on Senate Resolution 6, Investigation of the N ational Defense Program, Pt. 22; Investigation of the 
National Defense Program, Pt. 39 (cited above, !*!!. 46) ; and Special Senate Committee Investigat- 
ing the National Defense Program, 78th Congress, 1st Session, Senate Report 10, Investigation 
of the National Defense Program Pursuant to Senate Resolution 71, 77th Cpngress, and Senate 
Resolution 6, 78th Congress, Pt. 14, Additional Report, The Canol Project. Minutes of the late 
April meetings, the recommendation and approval, and the contract are reproduced in Investiga- 
tion of the National Defense Program, Pt. 22, as Exhibits 1095, 1096, 1097, and 1087. 

78 Investigation of the National Defense Program, Pt. 22, Exhibits 1097, 1101, and 1141. 

79 D/S Telg 71, 1 May 42, D/S 811.248/486; Memo/Conv, Moffat and Keenleyside, 8 May 
42, D/S 842.6363/162; U.S. Leg Ott Telg 80, 18 May 42, D/S 842.6363/168-1/5; Ltr, SW to 
Secy State, 18 May 42, D/S 842.6363/175. 



agreement was effected in an exchange of notes signed in Ottawa on 27 and 
29 June 1942. Under the agreement, by which Canada was to provide as- 
sistance similar to that for the Alaska Highway, the facilities were to be built 
by the United States, remain its property during the war, and be disposed of 
subsequently under an agreed procedure. 80 

Even before the agreement was finalized, the War Department had come 
forward requesting approval of a supplemental project. This project, sug- 
gested by Harold L. Ickes, who as U.S. Petroleum Co-ordinator for War had 
objected to the original project and had sponsored the new one as an alter- 
native, called for construction of 4-inch pipeline with a 5,000-barrel daily 
capacity between Skagway and Whitehorse along the White Pass and Yukon 
Route railroad and of storage and loading facilities at Prince Rupert. The 
supplemental project, which could be completed in a shorter time, would 
permit transportation of gasoline to Whitehorse from the United States via 
the relatively protected and shorter tanker haul along the inside passage from 
Prince Rupert to Skagway. Canadian approval was given informally in one 
day, 27 June, and later formalized in an exchange of notes dated 14 and 15 
August 1942. 81 The provisions of the earlier agreement were applied to the 
new one. 

Other associated projects were planned and undertaken with the result 
that the original project became known as Canol 1 and the supplementary 
project as Canol 2. Canol 3 provided for a 2-inch gasoline pipeline between 
Carcross, a point on the Canol 2 pipeline, and Watson Lake, with associated 
storage and other facilities. This line would permit deliveries from Skagway 
or Whitehorse to installations southward as far as Watson Lake. Canol 4 
called for a 3-inch gasoline pipeline from Whitehorse to Fairbanks and related 
facilities. 82 Canol 5, a gasoline pipeline extension from Fairbanks to Tanana, 
Alaska, was to be wholly a U.S. project, but it was later abandoned. 

None of the proposals in connection with the several Canol programs was 
processed through the Permanent Joint Board. However, the agreements for 
Canol 1 and 2 provided that if, at time of disposition of the facilities, there 
was no purchaser, the problem would be referred to the Board for recom- 
mendation. This provision resulted from a War Department suggestion 

80 EAS. 386; CTS, 1942, No. 23. 

81 EAS, 387; CTS, 1942, No. 24. 

82 Canols 3 and 4 had not been specifically authorized before work on them began. They 
were noted in an exchange of letters in Ottawa, dated 22 September and 5 October 1942, which 
was the result of Canadian inquiry concerning reports about these projects. They were formally 
approved for the record on 7 June 1944. (List, U.S. Defense Projects and Installations in 
Canada, 12 Jan 44 [Canadian origin], PDB 150-1; EAS, 416, and CTS, 1944, No. 16.) 



designed to insure against dismantling where such action would be contrary 
to foreseeable future war needs. 83 

Major logistical tasks faced the U.S. Army even before work at Norman 
Wells could begin. On 4 June 1942 the vanguard of Task Force 2600 began 
arriving at Waterways, Alberta, the northernmost railhead in the area, to 
establish the transportation system to Norman Wells over which could move 
the civilian construction organization and supplies needed for construction of 
the pipeline from Norman Wells to Whitehorse. The 1,171-mile route, 
open only from May to October, involved a 285 -mile passage down the 
Athabasca and Slave Rivers, a 16-mile portage at Fort Fitzgerald, and addi- 
tional passages of 195, 125, and 550 miles on the Slave River, Great Slave 
Lake, and Mackenzie River, respectively. By the end of June 1942 a force of 
over 2,000 troops was constructing the wharfage, warehousing, housing, and 
other facilities needed at the various terminal and storage points. Available 
river boats were purchased or hired, others were brought in, and large numbers 
of prefabricated barges were assembled on the rivers. 

By the summer of 1943 more than 39,000 tons of supplies had been moved 
over this water route. The greater part of the freight moved was delivered 
by the marine transportation facilities of the Hudson's Bay Company, which 
carried 50 percent of the tonnage between Waterways and Fort Fitzgerald and 
60 percent between Fort Smith and Norman Wells. After mid-1943 an in- 
creasing portion of these accomplishments was the result of augmentation of 
the force operating the route by the civilian organization, Marine Operators, 
at Edmonton. Pursuant to a contract arranged in February 1943, Marine 
Operators made extensive preparations for the task, which it took over dur- 
ing the summer of 1943. Task Force 2600 was then withdrawn. By the 
close of the river navigation season in early October, virtually all the supplies 
that had been assembled for movement to Norman Wells had reached that 
destination. 84 

With the waterways frozen during the winter months, alternate routes 
were sought to permit movement of supplies. Although a network of air 
bases was constructed which permitted movement of men and supplies by 
air, the principal means of winter transportation were tractor roads built over 
the frozen ground, rivers, and lakes. 85 The U.S. Army built such a route 
during the winter of 1942-43 from the railhead at Peace River to Norman 
Wells via Hay River and Fort Providence. The 1,000-mile route, sometimes 

"Memo, by Hickerson, 12 Jun 42, D/S 842.6363/168-4/5. 

84 For an account of the Hudson's Bay Company operations, see "Oil for the Planes of Alaska," 
The Beaver, Out fit 274 (Septe mber 1943), pp. 4-14. 

85 See above, |pp. 207-15~| 



referred to as Canol 6, was constructed between 23 October 1942 and 25 
February 1943- A shift of the base of operations from the railhead at Water- 
ways to that at Peace River was made because the winter road from the Peace 
River railhead could to a large extent utilize existing wagon roads and trails 
as far as Hay River. A route from Fort Smith joined the first at Hay River. 
A third, from Fort Nelson on the Alaska Highway, joined the first near Fort 
Simpson. The winter road operation was not successful. An estimated $7.5 
million was expended on construction and operation. Of 18,222 tons of sup- 
plies that left the Peace River railhead, only 5,293 tons were delivered to 
Norman Wells. Consumed in the operation were 3,567 tons, while the 
balance was left along the route, to be delivered by water after the waterway 
was open. The winter roads were not used after the winter of 1942-43. 86 

The construction of the several pipelines and the erection of the refinery, 
which were well under way in early 1943, were accomplished by civilian con- 
tractor organizations, both Canadian and U.S. The largest of these was 
Bechtel-Price-Callahan of San Francisco. The Skagway-Whitehorse pipeline, 
Canol 2, had gone into operation in late 1942. Gasoline reached Watson 
Lake via Canol 3 on 24 July 1943 and Fairbanks via Canol 4 on 23 February 
1944. The crude-oil line from Norman Wells was completed on 16 Febru- 
ary 1944, and the first oil was delivered through it on 16 April. Two weeks 
later, on 30 April 1944, the formal dedication of the refinery at Whitehorse 
took place and refinery operations began. The construction of the 595-mile 
pipeline and service road, which at two points reached elevations exceeding 
5,000 feet, over the uncharted Mackenzie Range between Norman Wells and 
Whitehorse was the most difficult of the pipeline tasks, and its execution 
was a significant step in taming the northwest Canadian wilderness. 

At the end of 1942 the War Department in the hope of making available 
new supplies of oil had decided that additional exploratory well drilling in 
northwest Canada was desirable. In an exchange of notes dated 28 December 
1942 and 13 January 1943, Canada acceded to a U.S. request for a wildcatting 
program in which exploratory wells would be drilled to seek sources capable 
of producing from 15,000 to 20,000 barrels of oil daily. Canada authorized 
the program in the area specified, which included all of the Yukon Territory 
and that portion of the District of Mackenzie on the mainland and west of 
the 112° meridian. 87 

Under the initial Canol 1 agreement, producing wells drilled at U.S. 
expense on land held under prior lease by the Imperial Oil Company became 

86 Bykofsky and Larson, The Transportation Corps: Operations Overseas, pp. 64-65. 

87 EAS, 388; CTS, 1943, No. 18. The area was reduced in size by a subsequent agreement 
published in EAS, 389, and CTS, 1943, No. 19. 



the property of that company, which was also to be reimbursed an agreed 
price for oil delivered to the United States from those wells and from wells 
already producing at the time the agreement was made. 88 Under the wild- 
catting program the United States assumed all the costs of the exploratory 
work, which was carried forward by Imperial Oil Company and by a U.S. 
company, Noble Drilling Corporation. All the exploratory drilling took 
place on land for which permits were issued by the Canadian Government to 
Imperial Oil. Under new regulations issued by the Canadian Government, 
one-half of any location upon which oil was discovered, together with the 
wells or other improvements thereon, would remain or become property of 
the Canadian Government. Imperial Oil Company, as the permittee, became 
owner of the remaining half of the improvements on crown property, and 
the two would share equally from the proceeds of oil produced under the 
new regulations. 89 This arrangement was also applicable to the drilling done 
under Canol 1 in the Norman Wells area but on ground for which additional 
permits were needed by and issued to Imperial Oil. 90 

As a result of the exploratory work, new producing wells with a daily 
output of 3,900 barrels were drilled, and as many as 4,000 barrels of crude 
oil per day, even in the coldest month of the year, moved through the pipe- 
line to the Whitehorse refinery. The Canadian Government estimated that 
this proven field contained from thirty to sixty million barrels of oil; U.S. 
authorities estimated that the oil resources discovered at U.S. expense totaled 
from sixty to one hundred million barrels, although they admitted that not 
all of this oil might be obtainable since part of the oil-bearing structure lay 
under the Mackenzie River. Approximately one-third of the proven field 
was covered by the old Imperial Oil leases, while the remainder was covered 
by the new regulations, which gave the crown a one-half interest. 91 

In September 1943 the U.S. Senate Special Committee Investigating the 
National Defense Program (then commonly referred to as the Truman Com- 
mittee, after its chairman) began an extensive investigation of the Canol 
Project. On 26 October the hearings delved into the arrangements effected 
by the United States with Canada and with the Imperial Oil Company. The 
committee report, released on 8 January 1944, severely criticized the initial 

^Investigation of the National Defense Program, Pt. 22, Exhibit 1087. 

89 Privy Council 1138, 12 Feb 43; Privy Council 2447, 26 Mar 43; Regulations under Privy 
Council 742, 28 Jan 43, in Canada, Wartime Information Board, Defense Projects in Northwest 
Canada, pp. 44-64; Investigation of the National Defense Program, Pt. 22, Exhibits 1088, 1145, 
and 1146-A; H. C. Debates, 5 May 44, pp. 2721-22. 

90 Privy Council 4140, 18 May 42. 

91 H. C. Debates, 5 May 44, p. 2722; WD Press Release, 8 Mar 45; Memo for Record, 20 
Nov 43 meeting in War Department, D/S 842.6363/267-4/23. 



decision by the War Department to develop the Canol Project. It also 
criticized subsequent decisions, some made as late as October 1943, to carry 
the project to completion despite the changing circumstances of the war and 
the contrary recommendations of the U.S. Petroleum Administrator for War 
and others, who considered the project to be unsound and excessively costly. 
The report concluded that the contracts and agreements were unfair and un- 
reasonable, since the question of postwar rights and other U.S. interests had 
not been properly safeguarded, despite the expenditure of $134 million for 
the entire project. This failure to safeguard U.S. interests the committee too 
attributed to improvidence on the part of the War Department, which had 
prepared the documents. The report also noted that Canada had accepted 
the U.S. proposal without modification or reservation and that there was no 
indication that it would not have been possible to obtain a more equitable 
arrangement from Canada. 92 

Soon after the Truman Committee began to inquire into the Canol con- 
tracts and agreements, the War Department, with the cognizance of the 
committee, initiated action to revise them. As a result of War Department 
representations to the Department of State a few days earlier, the U.S. 
Ambassador in Ottawa on 23 November 1943 broached the subject of the 
renegotiation of the contracts and agreements and arranged a meeting with 
the Canadians on 2 December. The meeting found Canadians amenable to 
the idea of making minor adjustments but opposed to any revisions premised 
on a major oil discovery. 93 

At a second meeting, on 31 January 1944, specific alternate U.S. proposals 
were discussed. Since the relationship between the Canadian Government 
and Imperial Oil Company established by an order-in-council had a direct 
bearing on any changes in the arrangement, it was necessary that this rela- 
tionship also be amended. The three-way discussions continued at some 
length, and the arrangements finally worked out were announced publicly on 
5 May 1944, five days after the refinery at Whitehorse began operations. 

During the period between 1 December 1943 and 30 April 1944, while 
renegotiation discussions were in progress, the War Department expended 
$17 million of the $99 million that was the cost of that part of the Canol 
Project involved in producing and refining oil in Canada. Vigorous War 
Department action in pushing the project to completion and the protracted 

92 Senate Report 10, 78th Congress, 1st Session, Pt. 14. The report did not criticize that 
part of the project which called for delivery of petroleum products through Prince Rupert to 
Skagway and thence through the pipelines to points between Fairbanks and Watson Lake. This 
portion of the project cost $35 million. 

95 Memo for Record, Hickerson, 30 Nov 43, D/S 842.6363/267-4/23; Minutes, 2 Dec 43 
meeting, D/S 842.6363/267-11/23; H. C. Debates, 5 May 44, p. 2722. 



discussions made it impossible to carry out the Truman Committee recom- 
mendation that this project not be completed unless new and equitable 
arrangements could be worked out with Canada and the Imperial Oil 
Company. 94 

The Canadian Minister of Mines and Resources explained the arrangements 
to the House of Commons on 5 May 1944 when he announced the. order-in- 
council, dated 27 April, that established the new relationship between the 
Canadian Government and the Imperial Oil Company. The new arrange- 
ments gave the United States an option to purchase for its own use, at cost 
plus twenty cents per barrel, an amount up to one-half of the oil recovered 
in the proven area, not exceeding thirty million barrels. 95 

The agreement formalizing the new arrangements was signed by the two 
governments on 7 June 1944. As a result of the agreement, the United States 
gave up all its rights to explore for oil in Canada. The agreement also met 
the Truman Committee criticism about safeguarding of U.S. interests by pro- 
viding for (1) application of the disposition arrangements for the Skagway- 
Whitehorse pipeline to the distribution lines to Watson Lake and Fairbanks, 
and (2) extension to the postwar lessees or owners of the installations of the 
rights of way and other rights necessary for their satisfactory utilization. 96 

When it went into operation, the Canol refinery was able to process 3,000 
barrels of crude oil per day and produce from this crude 479 barrels of avia- 
tion gasoline, 1,018 barrels of motor gasoline, and 525 barrels of fuel oil. 
This output reflected changes made in the plans to accord with the "antici- 
pated peacetime demand in the territory to be served by it" and still to allow 
the facilities to "make an important contribution to the wartime demand in 
the North Pacific region." 97 

The oil-producing and -refining facilities of the Canol Project had not 
long to operate, for less than a year later, before V-E and V-J Days had ar- 
rived, the War Department on 8 March 1945 announced discontinuance of 
operations as of 30 June. The War Department cited as reasons for its ac- 
tion the improved tanker situation and the improved military situation in 
Alaska. The system of distribution lines for delivery of petroleum products 
from the port at Skagway to points between Fairbanks and Watson Lake was 
not affected and continued to supply that area with petroleum products 
until after the war ended. 98 

94 Senate Report 10, 78th Congress, 1st Session, Pt. 14. 

95 Privy Council 2904; H. C. Debates, 5 May 44, pp. 2722-24; WD Press Release, 5 May 44. 
9<S EAS, 416; CTS, 1944, No. 16. 

97 WD Press Release, 5 May 44. 

98 WD Press Release, 8 Mar 45. 



Communications and Weather 

A major problem for both Canada and the United States in northwest 
Canada was posed by the extremely limited scale of communications facilities 
in a region whose size and attendant physical phenomena, such as the aurora 
borealis, made communications particularly difficult. The need for adequate 
meteorological data for safe air operations also presented a problem. 

As the U.S. troop units and detachments and the civilian elements involved 
in the construction projects deployed throughout northwestern Canada, the 
task of maintaining communications for command and administrative pur- 
poses was a formidable one. During the initial months of work on the 
Alaska Highway and Canol projects, the three commands involved (two for 
the highway, Northern and Southern Sectors) operated independent radio 
nets. The three networks were also independent of the Canadian facilities 
serving the airfields of the Northwest Staging Route and other principal lo- 
cations, except for a brief initial period during which the commanders of both 
the Northern and Southern Sectors of the highway were linked to Edmonton 
only by the Department of Transport radio system or by the telegraph line 
to Edmonton." 

Upon the establishment of the Northwest Service Command on 10 
September 1942, the need for integrating these three networks and adapting 
them to new requirements arose. The backbone of the system developed 
was the telephone and telegraph land line parallel to the Alaska Highway. 
The construction of this line was considered by the United States to be part 
of the over-all Alaska Highway project, but it also received specific authoriza- 
tion by the Canadian Government. 100 

Although perhaps dwarfed by other projects under way in that area, the 
construction of the telephone system was itself no small field engineering 
feat. Work was begun by the U.S. Army Chief Signal officer with a civilian 
organization in the late summer of 1942. In November the 843d Signal 
Service Battalion joined the construction forces on an emergency basis. 
Reinforced by crews recruited from Canadian and U.S. telephone companies, 
this battalion by 1 December 1942 had completed the 442-mile line between 
Edmonton and Dawson Creek, following the highway right of way. Cana- 
dian and U.S. contractors continued construction into 1943, and by 1 May 
they had opened another 900 miles, to Whitehorse; on 14 October the full 

99 Since the Radio Act, 1938, prohibited radio broadcasting except by licensed operators who 
had to be British subjects, authority for the operation of the U.S. Army stations was furnished, 
as a war measure, under Privy Council 3363, 28 April 1942. 

100 Ltr, Department of External Affairs to Moffat, 16 Oct 42, cited in List, U.S. Defense 
Projects in Canada, 6 May 43, PDB 150-1. 



line between Edmonton and Fairbanks was open. An additional 102-mile 
line linked Skagway to the system, while 830 more miles was needed to tie 
in the various air bases, flight strips, and other installations. The line, with 
a capacity of six voice and thirteen teletype circuits, required the setting of 
95,000 poles, the stretching of over 14,000 miles of wire, and the establishing 
of twenty-three booster stations at from 70- to 100-mile intervals. 

With radio communications frequently blacked out, the wire network 
provided an essential complementary communications link for the many in- 
stallations in the area. Through its use Fairbanks could be linked directly 
with Washington, D. C. The system was connected to Helena, Montana, 
and thence to U.S. commercial networks by Canadian and U.S. commercial 
circuits leased for military use, and could be linked, through its Edmonton 
switching center, to Canadian commercial facilities. 

Because the wire network was subject to frequent interruption by falling 
trees, thaws and floods, and fire and winds, radio networks were required not 
only to link points not served by the line, such as those in the Mackenzie 
River valley, but also to insure continuous service to points on the line. In 
June 1943 all U.S. radio nets were consolidated into a single network com- 
prising sixty-five fixed, semifixed, and mobile radio stations that served the 
Northwest Service Command and the operational and meteorological needs 
of Air Transport Command operations. Canadian needs for communications 
continued to be provided independently, through the radio net for the air- 
fields and intermediate fields of the Northwest Staging Route. 

Although there was virtually no integration of the communications 
services by the agencies of the two countries operating in northwest Canada, 
some such co-ordination was developed in the provision of meteorological 
services. The Department of Transport had maintained, before the U.S. 
tenancy on the Northwest Staging Route, a weather system that included 
hourly observations from each of its radio stations and forecasts every six 
hours from forecast centers at Edmonton and Whitehorse. The initial U.S. 
weather services were provided by detachments of Northwest Airlines per- 
sonnel for the contract transport services that began in March 1942. As the 
Army Air Forces expanded its air operations along the route in 1942 and 
1943, it established its own weather service, which replaced that of the North- 
west Airlines and to some extent duplicated that of the Canadian Depart- 
ment of Transport. United States observation stations were established at 
a number of points along the staging route, only a few of which duplicated 
Canadian observations. Meetings were held and arrangements worked out 
for co-ordinating the Canadian and U.S. observation networks so that by and 
large they supplemented each other. This was also done when Mackenzie 



River air operations necessitated the establishment of a reporting system in 
that area. The Royal Canadian Corps of Signals operated an observing and 
radio-reporting net of eleven stations, while the AAF operated a net of stations 
located at the landing strips developed by the United States. 

The two countries further collaborated in the collection and dissemina- 
tion of weather reports. The AAF operated a teletype circuit between 
Edmonton and Whitehorse to which the Department of Transport stations 
were linked. Over this circuit were transmitted the reports collected hourly 
by both Canadian and U.S. stations, in the Mackenzie River valley as well 
as along the staging route, making all reports available to all agencies. 

The U.S. Army saw fit to operate its own forecasting services and estab- 
lished stations at Whitehorse, Calgary, Edmonton, Fort Nelson, Fort St. 
John, Prince George, and Watson Lake. There undoubtedly was room for 
economy of operations through better co-ordination of the weather services. 
However, fundamental differences on the question of airway control and 
operation made fuller co-ordination infeasible. 101 

The Prince Rupert Port 

Although many of the major logistical projects carried out in the Cana- 
dian northwest were fully publicized, one of these, the utilization of Prince 
Rupert as a U.S. Army subport of embarkation, remained officially secret 
until after the Japanese surrender. Naturally this secrecy was to some extent 
circumscribed since the operation of the port involved several thousand peo- 
ple and the movement of nearly a million measurement tons of supplies 
through the port and over the Canadian National Railways line to it. 102 

Surveys of the possible utility of the port in the event of a war had been 
made by the U.S. and Canadian Armies as early as 1937. As the pre-Pearl 
Harbor build-up of U.S. bases in Alaska and the Pacific increased the pres- 
sure on the ports of Seattle and San Francisco, the desirability of using the 
port was re-examined. After a survey was made in March 1941, Prince 
Rupert was declared to be a potentially satisfactory port for the supply of all 
of southeastern Alaska and for partial supply of western Alaska. 103 

Prince Rupert was desirable for port operations for reasons other than 
that it would ease the pressures on other west coast ports. The northern- 
most west coast railhead, the port had rail connections to Vancouver and 
the west coast industrial areas and through Edmonton to the rest of Canada 

101 See |Ch. XI] below. 

102 A summary history of the role of the port in World War II was made public by a War 
Department press release of 7 September 1945. The Canadian National Magazine, XXXI 
(November 1945), contains an article, "Prince Rupert— Secret City of the War," which expands 
upon the press release. 

103 Ltr, Commandant 13th Naval District to CNO, 10 Mar 41, Com 13 Serial 122209. 



and the United States. Since the port is located 500 miles north of Seattle, 
a round trip to the Anchorage area would involve only 2,000 miles as op- 
posed to about 3,000 miles from Seattle. In a critical shipping situation the 
same tonnage of vessels could thus carry 50 percent more cargo by using 
the shorter route. 

At the 20 December 1941 meeting of the Permanent Joint Board on 
Defense the Canadian Section sought information, on behalf of the Minister 
of Transport and the Canadian National Railways, on U.S. plans for use of 
the port. 104 The successful emergency operation of lightering to, and reship- 
ment from, Prince Rupert of the cargo of a grounded U.S. Army Transport 
Service vessel on 13 January 1942 sparked additional U.S. interest in the port. 
By the end of the month both U.S. Army and Navy commanders on the 
Pacific coast had recommended immediate use of the port. 105 The Canadian 
Government authorized trial shipments, which were handled by the U.S. 
Army port of embarkation staff at Seattle. 

At the 25-26 February 1942 meeting of the Permanent Joint Board, the 
U.S. Section presented the War Department's request for authority to use 
the port for supply of Alaska with an estimated daily movement of 2,500 
tons and suggested the working out of plans by the local staffs. Canadian 
willingness to approve the use of the port was indicated at a Board meeting 
in April. 106 The War Department, apparently anticipating Canadian ap- 
proval on the basis of the earlier discussions, had on 20 February ordered 
activation of the port as a subport of the Seattle Port of Embarkation. The 
port officially opened on 5 April 1942. 

The Prince Rupert harbor is rated one of the world's best, but the port 
facilities were to require considerable augmentation. Canada, with U.S. 
materiel assistance, assumed responsibility for reinforcing the harbor de- 
fenses. The United States expanded the Prince Rupert port facilities to 
provide a capacity of 50,000 cubic tons of freight per month. Facilities con- 
structed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers included 400,000 square feet 
of warehousing, 54,000 square feet of office space, and a 1,000- ton-capacity 
cold storage plant. The existing waterfront wharfage was doubled. A com- 
plete temporary housing project, which would provide quarters for the 
majority of the 3,500 military and civilian personnel employed at the sub- 
port, was constructed nearby and included theater, gymnasium, medical, and 
similar facilities. The construction program lasted over the two years from 
March 1942 to March 1944. 

104 Journal, PDB 124. 

""Ltr, Commandant 13th Naval District to CNO, 14 Jan 42, Com 13 Serial 123003; Ltr, 
WDC and Fourth Army to ACofS WPD, 28 Jan 42, WPD 323.91. 

""•Journal, PDB 124; Memo, SUSAM for ACofS WPD, 27 Feb 42, PDB 116-1. 



The Corps of Engineers constructed two other major facilities near 
Prince Rupert. A personnel staging area, accommodating 2,500 personnel, 
with its own port and rail facilities, was constructed at Port Edward, some 
ten miles from Prince Rupert. Through this staging area, beginning in 
March 1943, passed the bulk of the military and civilian personnel en route 
to or from the U.S. Army projects and garrisons to the north. The other 
principal operating facility was at nearby Watson Island, which was used as 
a backup storage dump for ammunition. Shipment of ammunition from 
this dump was made to bases throughout the Pacific that were supporting 
the Pacific war. 

When the construction in the Prince Rupert area, which was accom- 
plished by civilian contractors under contract to the U.S. Army Engineers, 
was first initiated, the question arose whether the United States had secured 
the necessary authority for it. The U.S. Section of the Permanent Joint 
Board cited the Board's Twenty-second Recommendation. Canada initially 
questioned whether that recommendation provided the authority but sub- 
sequently agreed that it did. 10 " 

As a result of the U.S. Army construction activities, the population of 
Prince Rupert increased from a pre-Pearl Harbor 4,700 (excluding 2,300 
Japanese that were evacuated) to over 11,000. The subport, which came 
under the direction of the U.S. Army Seattle Port of Embarkation for port 
operations, was supported by and reported to the Northwest Service Com- 
mand for personnel, communications, fiscal, medical, construction and main- 
tenance, and similar purposes. 108 By the time of the Japanese surrender 
almost a million tons of freight had passed through Prince Rupert. 

After V-E Day the War Department sought ways of supplementing the 
capacity of the Prince Rupert and other west coast ports to permit increased 
shipment of supplies to the Pacific. In June 1945 U.S. Army authorities 
initiated investigations and inquiries concerning the use of Ballantyne Pier 
in Vancouver as an additional subport. They found that the available labor 
supply would allow the handling of six ships per month at the pier, but 
that if additional labor were brought in this number could be increased to 
twenty. The United States formally sought approval of the project in 
Ottawa in July and readily obtained it. 109 The welcome surrender of Japan 
prevented fruition of the project. 

'" JAppendix Aj below; Ltr, Cdn Secy PJBD to U.S. Secy, 24 Apr 42, PDB 147-1. 

108 For a more detailed account of U.S. Army operations at Prince Rupert, see Bykofsky and 
Larson, The Transportation Corps: Operations Overseas, pp. 41-46. Tucker, The Naval Service of 
Canada, II, 233-41, contains an account of the role of Prince Rupert in Royal Canadian Navy 

109 Ltr, SUSAM to Military Attache, 14 Jul 45, and Reply, 20 Jul 45, both in PDB 126-21. 


Comrades in Arms 

Although mention of World War II military co-operation between the 
United States and Canada may first bring to mind the Ogdensburg Declara- 
tion and the Permanent Joint Board on Defense or well-publicized projects 
such as the Alaska Highway and the Canol Project, that co-operation was by 
no means limited to politico-military and strategic planning or to logistical 
enterprises carried out in the Canadian northland. On battlegrounds in dif- 
ferent quarters of the globe, Canadians and Americans fought and died 
together as North American brothers-in-arms. 1 

Military units of the two countries inevitably found themselves co-operat- 
ing on various occasions as the scope and scale of operations in the European 
theater grew larger. Canadian and U.S. divisions fought side by side in 
Sicily, in Italy, and during the advance from Normandy. In fact, the U.S. 
XVI Corps was assigned to the First Canadian Army, commanded by Gen- 
eral Henry D. G. Crerar, to assist him in clearing the west bank of the 
Rhine of the enemy in March 1945. 

In the air war, RCAF fighter squadrons teamed up to protect U.S. Eighth 
Air Force Flying Fortresses on many missions from the United Kingdom 
against continental targets during 1942 and 1943. Many of the aircraft of 
Royal Air Force squadrons, furnishing fighter escort in the same way, were 
manned by RCAF personnel serving in Royal Air Force units. The AAF 
was able to repay these courtesies many times in Sicily and Italy, where its 
fighter-bomber and light and medium bomber groups flew hundreds of 
sorties in direct support of Canadian ground forces. 

Still other circumstances found large numbers of Canadians and Ameri- 
cans fighting side by side. Long before Pearl Harbor, a steady stream of 
Americans had started moving northward across the border to join the Cana- 
dian armed forces. By the beginning of 1941 some 1,200 Americans com- 

1 Symbolic of this brotherhood-in-arms was the selection of the sonnet "High Flight" for 
wide circulation throughout the schools of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. This 
sonnet, which has been viewed as ranking with John McCrae's "In Flanders Fields" and Rupert 
Brooke's "The Soldier," was penned by an American, Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee of the 
RCAF. Magee, who was killed at age nineteen in December 1941, was one of the large num- 
ber of Americans who enlisted in the Canadian armed forces while the United States was still 
a neutral. The sonnet begins and ends: "Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth . . . . 
Put out my hand and touched the face of God." 



prised about 10 percent of RCAF officer strength and 3 percent of the other 
ranks. 2 A U.S. influx totaling about 10 percent of RCAF recruitment con- 
tinued until, at the time of Pearl Harbor, over 6,000 U.S. citizens were serv- 
ing in the RCAF, of whom 600 were instructors in the British Common- 
wealth Air Training Plan. By the same time nearly 10,000 Americans were 
serving in the Canadian Army/ After Pearl Harbor a reverse movement 
resulted in the absorption of over 26,000 Canadians into the U.S. armed 
forces during World War II. 

Battle of the Atlantic 

On 16 September 1939, scarcely two weeks after the beginning of World 
War II, the first convoy departed Halifax, Nova Scotia, for the United 
Kingdom. 4 Many others followed, escorted by units of the British and 
Canadian Navies. The first loss to the submarine enemy did not occur 
until 14 February 1940, and at the time of the fall of France in June 1940 
losses were still few. 

The availability of French bases after the fall of France greatly increased 
German submarine warfare capabilities, and this advantage, coupled with 
Admiral Karl Doenitz' "wolf-pack" technique, caused losses to mount 
steadily. Although the U.S.-British destroyer transfer alleviated the situa- 
tion, by the end of 1940 about 70 percent of the British destroyer fleet was 
laid up for repairs. 

In 1941 the United States took additional steps to support the British. 
Soon after the approval of the Lend- Lease Act on 11 March 1941 the United 
States began to finance repairs to British naval vessels in U.S. ports. The 
U.S.-United Kingdom armed forces liaison, established on an informal basis 
before August 1940, gradually developed and produced the formal staff con- 
versations that took place in Washington in January-March 1941. From 
these staff conversations emerged a U.S. undertaking to protect shipping in 
the western Atlantic, which was to be a U.S. over-all strategic responsibility 
in the event of U.S. entry into the war/ Of greater immediate importance 
was the fact that the U.S. Navy through this liaison obtained the benefits 

2 Memo for Record, SUSAM, 12 Mar 41, PDB 129-1. 
'•Canada at War, No. 8 (Nov 41), p. 46. 

4 For full and authoritative British, Canadian, and U.S. accounts, see Great Britain. Central 
Office of Information, The Battle of the Atlantic (London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 
1946); Schull, The Far Distant Ships; Morison, The Battle of the Atlantic; Samuel Eliot Mori- 
son, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, X, The Atlantic Battle Won, 
May 1943— May 1945 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1956); Craven and Cate (eds.), 
Plans and Early Operations; and Wesley F. Craven and James L. Cate (eds.), The Army Air 
Forces in World War II, II, Europe— Torch to Pointblank (Chicago: University of Chicago 
Press, 1949). 

The account presented here is limited to the U.S. -Canadian co-operation in the discharge of 
the conv oy escort and antisubmarine responsibilities. 
' See |ChTTv] above. 



of British experience in convoy and antisubmarine operations. This, in turn, 
permitted the U.S. Navy to accelerate U.S. preparations to undertake such 
operations. Thanks in part to these benefits, the U.S. Navy, even with its 
forces deployed for the hemisphere neutrality patrol begun in the fall of 
1939, was able to report to the President on 20 March 1941 that it would 
soon be ready to convoy merchant shipping and lend-lease cargoes across 
the Atlantic. Surveys had already been made for the necessary naval bases 
in the British Isles. 6 The next major U.S. step to aid the British was taken 
on 11 April 1941 when President Roosevelt notified Prime Minister 
Churchill that the neutrality patrol was to be extended to 26° west longi- 
tude, and invited notice of British convoys so that warnings of enemy sub- 
marines in the area might be transmitted to them. 

Despite the steps taken by the United States, British losses continued to 
be heavy. In May a convoy lost nine ships well within the patrolled zone. 
In consequence of such losses, which reached 590,000 tons in June 1941, 
Great Britain decided to provide convoy escort for the full length of the 
crossing. To this end, the British Admiralty on 23 May asked Canada to 
assume the responsibility for protecting convoys in the western zone and to 
establish the base for its escort force at St. John's in Newfoundland. On 13 
June 1941 Commodore L. W. Murray, Royal Canadian Navy, assumed his 
post as Commodore Commanding Newfoundland Escort Force, under the 
over-all authority of the United Kingdom Commander in Chief, Western 
Approaches, whose headquarters was at Liverpool. Six Canadian destroyers 
and seventeen corvettes, reinforced by seven destroyers, three sloops, and 
five corvettes of the Royal Navy, were assembled for duty in the force, 
which escorted convoys from Canadian ports to Newfoundland and from 
there to a meeting point south of Iceland, where British convoys took over. 7 

During these months both the war and the scale of U.S. precautionary 
preparations grew at an accelerated pace. In April and July 1941 arrange- 
ments were made for dispatch of U.S. garrisons to Greenland and Iceland, 
respectively. 8 On 27 May, the day on which the German battleship 
Bismarck was sunk, the President declared an unlimited national emergency. 9 

6 For a detailed account of the development of U. S. policy as to participation in the Battle 
of the Atlantic, see William L. Langer and S. Everett Gleason, The Undeclared War (New 
York: Harper & Brothers, 1953), pp. 419-64, 742-50. 

7 Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 138-42; Schull, The Far Distant Ships, pp. 65-75; 
Sherwo od, Rooseve lt and Hopkins, pp. 291-92. 

8 See | Ch. VI,| above. 

9 While the Bismarck roamed in northwestern Atlantic waters out of range of Canadian air- 
craft, the RCAF informally proposed to neutral Washington the borrowing of twelve Flying 
Fortresses, to be ostensibly manned by Canadians, to attack her. War Department officers, 
including General Marshall and Mr. Stimson, appeared sympathetic but agreed that this would 
be an act of war and decided against the request. (Note for Record, 24 May 41, WPD 4330- 



On 22 June 1941 Germany invaded the USSR. On 15 July the U.S. Navy 
air and naval base at Argentia was commissioned. It was in this setting 
that the Argentia meeting of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister 
Churchill took place on 9-13 August 1941, from which emerged the Atlantic 

Roosevelt and Churchill and their naval chiefs at the Atlantic Conference 
agreed on new arrangements for convoy escort operations. 10 To the United 
States, a nonbelligerent, was assigned the convoy escort responsibility in the 
northwestern Atlantic west of the 30° west meridian. The United Kingdom 
immediately withdrew its naval vessels from the area, except for a few armed 
cruisers which it withdrew in October. The Royal Canadian Navy New- 
foundland Command was charged with the convoy task in the coastal zone 
of the new U.S. sector, where it employed five destroyers and ten corvettes. 
Eight Canadian destroyers and twenty corvettes passed to the direct com- 
mand of Rear Adm. Arthur L. Bristol, commanding the Support Force of 
the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, for employment in the escort groups on the ocean 
leg of the U.S. sector. Where possible each of the escort groups, which 
usually numbered two destroyers and four corvettes, was made up entirely 
of ships of one country. 11 

The necessary orders were issued in early September and staff arrange- 
ments were completed with British and Canadian naval officers who had 
established close operational liaison in the Navy Department in Washing- 
ton in anticipation of an expansion of the U.S. role in convoy escort work. 
While these preparations were in hand, President Roosevelt on 11 Septem- 
ber 1941 issued his "shoot on sight" warning to Germany and Italy, stating 
that when men-of-war entered waters "the protection of which is necessary 
for American defense they do so at their own peril." 12 

The first transatlantic convoy to be escorted by the U.S. Navy sailed 
from Halifax on 16 September 1941, accompanied by a Royal Canadian 
Navy escort group acting under over-all U.S. direction. The next day, 
escort of the convoy was taken over by a U.S. Navy group at the 
"Westomp" (western ocean meeting place), a designated point south of 
Argentia. The fifty merchant ships, which sailed under a variety of flags 
and comprised types varying from a 1,500-ton cargo ship to the 17,000-ton 
Empress of Asia, were met at the "Momp" (mid-ocean meeting place) by a 
British escort group. Here, part of the convoy split off to proceed to Ice- 

"' See also |Ch. Vj above. 

11 Kittredge Monograph, I, Sec. V, 376n; Morison, The Battle of the Atlantic, pp. 78-79. 

12 Department of State Bulletin, September 13, 1941, V, 196. 



land under U.S. escort, while the remainder proceeded to the United King- 
dom under Royal Navy escort. 13 

Within the next month convoy escort arrangements were stabilized on 
the following pattern: 

a. Eastbound slow (designated SC) convoys out of Sydney, Nova 
Scotia, were escorted to the Momp by Canadian escort groups, which on 
their return voyage escorted westbound slow (ONS) convoys. 

b. Eastbound fast (HX) convoys and westbound fast (ON) convoys 
were escorted to and from the Momp by U.S. Navy escort groups. 

c. All convoys proceeding between the Momp and the United King- 
dom were escorted by Royal Navy escort groups under the control of the 
Commander in Chief, Western Approaches. 

By the beginning of 1942 naval officers of the three countries had 
worked out a procedure for routing and controlling convoys. The British 
Admiralty proposed a convoy route to the Navy Department in Washing- 
ton, which accepted it after adjustment if necessary. The Navy Department 
then gave notice of the agreed route to the British Admiralty; the Com- 
mander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; the British Commander in Chief, 
Western Approaches; the commander of the U.S. task force that would sup- 
ply the escort from the Westomp to the Momp; the Commanding Officer, 
Atlantic Coast command, at Halifax, Nova Scotia; Canadian Naval Staff Head- 
quarters at Ottawa; the Flag Officer, Royal Canadian Navy Newfoundland 
Command; and the Canadian port director concerned. The Navy Depart- 
ment also notified the port director, who in turn advised the convoy com- 
modore, of the escort arrangements. The convoy departed under its Royal 
Canadian Navy local coastal escort, to be met at the Westomp by the U.S. 
Navy ocean escort, which then turned over the escort task and command of 
the convoy to a Royal Navy escort group at the Momp. West of the mid- 
ocean meeting place convoys were controlled from Washington, east of it 
from London. Control from these points was found necessary because of 
the numbers of convoys often making simultaneous crossings. 14 

The procedures and allocations of responsibilities worked out in the 
period following the Argentia conference required substantial revision after 
Pearl Harbor, when the demand for U.S. Navy ships elsewhere became so 
great that U.S. participation in the escort of merchant ships in the North 
Atlantic was reduced to two Coast Guard cutters. Under continuing over- 
all U.S. strategic direction, the Royal Canadian Navy now began to provide 

l5 Morison, The Battle of the Atlantic, pp. 85-87. 
14 Ibid., pp. 101-02. 



the escort groups not only for the coastal leg but also for the ocean leg 
between the Westomp and the Momp, where, as before, United Kingdom 
escorts took over. 15 

Canada was able to make other contributions that helped to meet the 
urgent U.S. need, immediately after Pearl Harbor, for naval vessels for escort 
and other purposes. In addition to assuming a larger part of the merchant 
convoy task, the Royal Canadian Navy made twenty-four antisubmarine 
trawlers available to the U.S. Navy. These trawlers arrived at New York 
in March 1942, after which they were deployed along the Atlantic coast to 
assist in escorting the heavy coastal traffic which had become the target of 
an intensified German submarine effort. 16 

Even when the U.S. Navy was later able to reconstitute its strength in 
the western Atlantic, it was faced with an ever-increasing demand for escorts 
for troop convoys to the United Kingdom. These convoys enjoyed a prior 
claim on the U.S. Navy forces available. Consequently, it remained for the 
Royal Canadian Navy to provide the bulk of the escort forces for merchant 
ship convoys in the western Atlantic, although a few U.S. Navy ships were 
assigned to this duty. 

By mid-1942 convoy escort was furnished by escort groups as follows: 

a. In the Western Local Area, to a Westomp in locations varying from 
45° to 52° west, by eight escort groups of United Kingdom and Canadian 
destroyers and Canadian corvettes based on Boston and Halifax. 

b. In the Mid-ocean Area, to a Momp near 22° west, by fourteen (later 
eleven) escort groups. The destroyers in three of these groups were U.S., 
and the three groups were under U.S. command. Seven other groups under 
United Kingdom command comprised United Kingdom, Canadian, and two 
Polish destroyers, and Canadian and a few Free French corvettes. The re- 
maining four escort groups were under Canadian command. Ships in all 
these groups were based on Argentia or St. John's, Newfoundland, and 
refueled at Londonderry in Ireland. 

c. In the Eastern Local Area, by United Kingdom escort groups as 

d. For the shuttle between Iceland and the Momp, by U.S. escort 
groups.' 7 

The burden of North Atlantic convoying during 1942, in terms of the 

IS Ibid., p. 117; Schull, The Far Distant Ships, p. 98. 

"'Canada, Naval Service Headquarters, Royal Canadian Navy Monthly Review. No. 2 (Feb 
42), p. 6, and No. 3 (Mar 42), p. 7. 

17 Morison, The Battle of the Atlantic, pp. 318-20; Tucker, The Naval Service of Canada, 
II, 133. 



approximate ratio of ships convoyed to the scale of each nation's escort con- 
tribution, was being borne about equally by the United Kingdom, Canada, 
and the United States, with the Canadian share being somewhat less than 
one-third. 18 Toward the end of the year the U.S. contribution was reduced 
sharply by the new demands for convoy escort to North Africa and by other 
requirements. As a result, as of 27 November 1942, only 3 of the 147 ves- 
sels comprising the Western Local Escort and Mid-ocean Escort Forces were 
U.S., the remainder being contributed about equally by Canada and the 
United Kingdom. 

With the intensification of Nazi submarine warfare in the western 
Atlantic, air cover from North American and adjacent bases became an im- 
portant element in the protection of convoys. Although involved with the 
U.S. Navy in a prolonged jurisdictional dispute over the responsibility for 
aerial aspects of antisubmarine warfare, the AAF collaborated with the U.S. 
Navy Atlantic Fleet task force commander at Argentia by placing its air 
units in Newfoundland at his disposal to augment the U.S. Navy patrol 
squadron deployed there after Pearl Harbor for the convoy protection task. 
After discussion of a proposal for similar collaboration by the RCAF, suit- 
able arrangements were finally worked out shortly afterward. 19 

By the spring of 1942 enemy submarines had extended their operations 
into North American coastal waters and were causing heavy losses. The 
United States temporarily resolved its own interservice dispute over the con- 
trol of antisubmarine air operations on 26 March 1942 by making them the 
responsibility of the U.S. Navy, exercised in U.S. coastal waters by the 
Eastern Sea Frontier. Immediately thereafter officers of the air and naval air 
services of Canada and the United States conferred at St. John's, Newfound- 
land, to improve the co-ordination of air operations for the protection of 
Allied convoys. 

Under the plans worked out, air cover in the ocean convoy sectors was 
provided as follows: 

a. Western Local Area — U.S. Army, Navy, and Civil Air Patrol air- 
craft based in New England; RCAF aircraft based at Yarmouth, Halifax, and 
Sydney; and U.S. Navy aircraft based at Argentia. 

b. Mid-ocean Area— U.S. Navy aircraft based at Argentia and in Ice- 
land; and RCAF aircraft based at Torbay and Gander Lake, Newfoundland. 

18 Statement by Minister of National Defense for Naval Services A. L. Macdonald, H. C. 
Debates, 7 May 42, p. 2248; Canada, Naval Service Headquarters, Royal Canadian Navy Monthly 
Review, No. 9 (S ep 42), p. 64. 

19 See |Ch V,| above. 



c. Eastern Local Area— RAF aircraft based in the British Isles. 

d. Iceland Shuttle— U.S. Navy aircraft based in Iceland. 20 

Throughout 1942 Allied losses to enemy submarines had continued at a 
high rate despite intensified countermeasures. Germany had stepped up its 
submarine production so that it was able in spite of Allied countermeasures 
to increase steadily the number of submarines at sea on patrol duty. 
In January 1943, while meeting with President Roosevelt and Prime Min- 
ister Churchill at Casablanca, the Combined Chiefs of Staff agreed that "the 
defeat of the U-boat must remain a first charge on the resources of the 
United Nations." 21 

Ways and means to this end had already been under discussion, and the 
Combined Chiefs of Staff took action to improve the situation. The long- 
range patrol force from Newfoundland comprised four B-17 Flying Fortress 
aircraft of the Newfoundland Base Command reserve striking force, the 421st 
Bombardment Squadron, which performed patrol missions for U.S. Navy 
Task Force 24 as a secondary task. In February 1943 the unit was redesig- 
nated the 20th Antisubmarine Squadron, reinforced to a strength of seven 
B-17's, and assigned to patrol duty as its primary mission. On its part, 
Canada sought to comply with a request from Prime Minister Churchill that 
it contribute to the long-range air patrols, as well as to the coastal air patrols, 
but neither Canada nor the United Kingdom was able to provide the aircraft 
for enlargement of Canadian responsibility. The Canadian Joint Staff in 
Washington inquired of the AAF in January 1943 whether fifteen B-24 
Liberator aircraft could be supplied for this purpose, but General Arnold, 
the AAF commander, found it necessary to disapprove the request on the 
basis that none could be spared. 22 

At the Atlantic Convoy Conference, held in Washington between 1 and 
12 March 1943 at the suggestion of Canada, naval officers of the three coun- 
tries continued to seek solutions to convoying problems. As a result of strong 
Canadian representations at the conference, a reassignment of the responsibility 
for the western Atlantic was made. Since September 1941 this area had been 
under U.S. strategic direction despite the fact that for most of the period the 
escort of North Atlantic merchant shipping in that sector was being per- 
formed in the main by the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Navy. As 
U.S. naval strength in the Atlantic had gradually increased, the requirements 
for troop convoys and for merchant convoys to the Mediterranean had 

20 Morison, The Battle of the Atlantic, pp. 319-20. 

21 CCS 155/1, 22 Jan 43. 

22 AAF Reference History 7, The Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command, file AAFRH-7, 
U.S. Air Force Air University, pp. 147-48. 



absorbed the additional forces available. 23 Under the new arrangement, 
which became effective 30 April 1943, the United States retained the broad 
strategic responsibility for the western Atlantic, but Canada took over the 
full operational responsibility for surface escort of merchant convoys in an 
area north of the parallel through New York City and west of the 47° west 
meridian, except for convoys to Greenland, which remained a U.S. respon- 
sibility. The United States and the United Kingdom continued to be 
responsible for the remainder of the Atlantic convoy task. 

Newly promoted Rear Adm. L. W. Murray carried out the Canadian 
responsibility as Commander in Chief, Canadian Northwest Atlantic. Cana- 
dian naval forces were augmented by the transfer of six overage Royal Navy 
destroyers, by the return of seven corvettes which had been on loan to the 
U.S. Navy since 1942 for use in the Caribbean, by the return of ships from 
operations in North African waters, by the commissioning of new ships 
built in Canada, and by assistance from U.S. escort vessels. Air antisub- 
marine operations were the responsibility of the Eastern Air Command under 
Air Vice Marshal George Johnson, and for this task the U.S. military and 
naval antisubmarine aircraft stationed in Newfoundland were put under his 
command. 24 

The conference, chaired by Admiral Ernest J. King, Commander in Chief, 
U.S. Fleet, and Chief of Naval Operations, also agreed on several measures 
to bring to bear the demonstrated effectiveness of aircraft against submarines. 
Small escort aircraft carriers were made available in sufficient numbers so 
that almost every convoy was able to be accompanied by its own air um- 
brella of twelve carrier aircraft. In response to the conference recommenda- 
tion that the strength of the land-based VLR (very long range) patrol air- 
craft covering the ocean legs of the Atlantic crossing be increased, the 
Combined Chiefs of Staff late in March approved a number of expedients that 
would allow the assignment of greater numbers of planes and trained per- 
sonnel to antisubmarine duty. Under these arrangements the British and 
U.S. services undertook to provide 255 aircraft, by 1 July 1943 if possible: 25 

United States Army Air Forces 75 

United States Navy 60 

Royal Air Force 105 

Royal Canadian Air Force 15 

" The best public account of the Atlantic Convoy Conference and of the events leading up 
to it is contained in Tucker, The Naval Service of Canada, II, Ch. 14. 

24 Schull, The Far Distant Ships, pp. 166-68; Canada aiwar, No. 24 (May 43), pp. 3-4; 
Tucker, The Naval Service of Canada, II, 138-39. 

" CCS 189/2, approved 29 Mar 43; Minutes, 78th CCS meeting. The fifteen VLR aircraft 
for the RCAF were to be provided by the Royal Air Force with subsequent attrition made good 
by the U.S. AAF. 8 



Still another air measure was adopted to reduce the vulnerability of con- 
voys in the mid-ocean region which has been outside the range of land- 
based aircraft. The conference worked out a plan for shuttle service of the 
VLR aircraft of the three countries between bases in Newfoundland, the 
United Kingdom, and Iceland. With the eventual receipt of its Liberator 
aircraft in June 1943, the RCAF VLR squadron stationed in Newfoundland 
could now patrol to Iceland or the United Kingdom, refuel, and make the 
round trip flight. Improved antisubmarine equipment and techniques made 
the air cover even more effective. 

In partial fulfillment of its commitment, the United States in April 
added two antisubmarine squadrons, the 6th and 19th, to its air forces at 
Gander, while a headquarters detachment of the 25th Antisubmarine Wing 
was established in the combined Royal Canadian Navy-RCAF control room 
at St. John's. In consequence of a decision taken at the Atlantic Convoy 
Conference, operational control of these forces passed on 30 April to Canada, 
which exercised a general control through the designation of missions with- 
out prescribing tactics and techniques. 26 

Aided by the improvement in flying conditions that came with the spring, 
the expanded air effort was able to assist in turning the tide of the 
submarine war by the middle of 1943. The Battle of the Atlantic was by 
no means over, but the main German submarine effort had shifted away 
from the North American coastal waters. At the end of August 1943, when 
the United States had already partly moved its air antisubmarine units from 
Newfoundland to the United Kingdom, the aircraft based on Newfoundland 
and Nova Scotia for patrol purposes, both very long range and coastal, 
numbered as follows: 27 

Very long Long and medium 
range range 

United States Army Air Forces 12 

United States Navy 7 

Royal Canadian Air Force 14 142 

Another factor contributing to the shift was the employment, beginning 
in the spring of 1943, of naval support groups which also contained escort 
carriers. These groups operated independently of the convoys and their 
escort groups. Aided by the search capabilities of their aircraft, they could 
rove at will to seek out enemy submarines, establish and maintain contact 

26 The Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command, pp. 150-51. 

27 Ibid., pp. 150, 255. 



with them, and destroy them. Five such United Kingdom groups, which 
included U.S. escort carriers, were operating in the spring of 1943. By the 
end of the year, Canada was contributing the greater part of two such support 

Other events in 1943 favored the Allies. The surrender of Italy in Sep- 
tember 1943 released additional naval vessels for operations in the Battle 
of the Atlantic. The following month Portugal agreed to permit establish- 
ment of U.S. and British air and naval bases in the Azores. Operations 
from these bases permitted full air coverage of a mid- Atlantic zone in which 
enemy submarines had operated with relative impunity. 

In early 1944, as a result of the Allied successes of 1943 and the need to 
assemble and re-equip the naval forces to be employed in the landings in 
France, operational policies changed. The merchant convoys were made 
fewer and larger by measures such as the combining of fast and slow con- 
voys. All non-Canadian and some Canadian escort vessels were withdrawn 
from convoying duty in the North Atlantic and allocated to other tasks. 
The Royal Canadian Navy assumed in its entirety the task of providing 
escort groups for the merchant convoys crossing the North Atlantic. In 
addition, the Royal Canadian Navy assigned two more support groups to 
the North Atlantic area, making a total of four. By this time, too, RCAF 
antisubmarine squadron dispositions had been expanded to include a 
squadron in Iceland. 28 

Canada continued to bear this enlarged convoy escort responsibility until 
V-E Day. It also took over an increasingly large part of the air antisub- 
marine effort. At the close of the Battle of the Atlantic, Canada was 
providing the bulk of the air units engaged, and Canadian commanders and 
staffs controlled the North Atlantic antisubmarine operations based on the 
North American mainland, Greenland, and Iceland. 29 

In the course of discharging these and other tasks the Royal Canadian 
Navy grew from six destroyers and a handful of small craft manned by less 
than 4,000 active and reserve personnel in August 1939 to a force of over 
94,000 personnel and 939 ships of all types. The ships included two cruisers, 
two escort carriers, and seventeen destroyers. But the core of the naval 
force, over 200 vessels, consisted of Canadian-built frigates, corvettes, and 
other miscellaneous craft of the types that made up the major Canadian 
naval contribution to victory in the Battle of the Atlantic. 

28 Royal Canadian Navy Progress Report, 12-13 Apr 44 PJBD meeting, PDB 124; H. C. 
Debates, 29 Feb 44, p. 1032. 

29 Speech by Gen. A. G. L. McNaughton, 12 Apr 48, Department of External Affairs, State- 
ments and Speeches, No. 48/18. 



Securing Alaska Against the Japanese 

Months before the Japanese actually penetrated the Aleutian Islands, in 
1942, Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt, Commanding General, Western Defense 
Command, which included the western states and Alaska, sought means of 
reinforcing the inadequate air defenses of Alaska. On 29 March 1942, after 
earlier preliminary meetings, he conferred with the senior Canadian com- 
manders in western Canada, who had also formulated proposals for 
strengthening Pacific air defenses. At this meeting the conferees recom- 
mended that the Permanent Joint Board consider the deployment of three 
additional RCAF squadrons to the area. Two were to be stationed at 
Smithers in British Columbia, and the third at the U.S. base on Annette 
Island at the southern tip of the Alaskan panhandle, until such time as a 
U.S. unit could replace it. From the Canadian viewpoint, the squadron at 
Annette Island would not only strengthen Alaskan defenses but also those 
of the Prince Rupert , area. 30 

The Permanent Joint Board considered the report on 7 April, and was 
informed of RCAF plans to increase the Western Air Command from ten 
to twenty-four squadrons. Concurrently, the War Department approved 
deployment of a RCAF squadron to Annette Island. The Board also dis- 
cussed the need for more extensive air reinforcement of Alaska in the event 
of Japanese attack. A little over a month later, on 26 May, the RCAF 
member was able to report to the Board that plans for such an eventuality 
had been completed. 31 

Royal Canadian Air Force No. 115 Fighter Squadron, consisting of four- 
teen Bolingbroke aircraft, completed its movement to Annette Island on 5 
May, the first Canadian forces to enter U.S. territory to assist in its defense. 
Since the stationing of the unit at Annette Island made it available for the 
defense of Prince Rupert, the squadron remained under the Canadian opera- 
tional control of the Officer Commanding, Prince Rupert Defenses. Small 
detachments of light and heavy antiaircraft and an airdrome defense com- 
pany of the Canadian Army were later added to the Annette Island force 
for the protection of the RCAF squadron. 32 

50 History of the Western Defense Command, II, Ch. 7, 4; Journal, 7 Apr 42 PJBD meet- 
ing, PDB 124. For authoritative accounts of U.S. AAF and Navy operations in the Aleutians, 
see Wesley F. Craven and James L. Cate (eds.), The Army Air Forces in World War II, IV, 
The Pacific — Guadalcanal to Saipan (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1950), and Samuel 
Eliot Morison, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, VII, Aleutians, Gil- 
berts and Marshalls (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1951). 

"Journals, 7 and 27 Apr, and 26 May 42 PJBD meetings, PDB 124. 

"Journals, 9 Jun and 1 Sep 42 PJBD meetings, PDB 124. In June 1942 the Bolingbrokes 
were modified for bombing work and No. 115 Squadron was redesignated Bomber Reconnais- 



In late May 1942 a Japanese attack on the Aleutians was believed to be 
imminent. General DeWitt discussed with Maj. Gen. R. O. Alexander, 
commanding the Canadian forces in western Canada, the need for RCAF 
help in the more forward areas of Alaska. On the basis of this and sub- 
sequent discussions, DeWitt believed that a request from him for the 
deployment of two additional RCAF squadrons to help meet the anticipated 
attack in the Aleutians would receive Canadian approval. The two squad- 
rons were to be stationed in Alaska at Yakutat, near the southwestern 
corner of the Yukon Territory, while still another RCAF squadron was to 
join the one already at Annette Island. As the anticipated time of attack 
approached, DeWitt, who had presented a firm request to Alexander for the 
additional squadrons, was informed they could not be made available. The 
refusal was apparently the result of an Air Force Headquarters conclusion 
that Canadian aircraft should not be sent north of Annette Island, since to 
do so would reduce the air forces available for the defense of Prince Rupert. 
The Air Force Headquarters conclusion also had the support of the Chief 
of the Army General Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Stuart, who on 30 May arrived 
in western Canada to assume additional duties as the commander of the 
Canadian Army Pacific Command and of the triservice West Coast Defenses 
command. 33 

The disappointed General DeWitt telephoned the War Department and 
asked it to intercede in Ottawa for loan of the two squadrons for Yakutat at 
least until 8 June. On 1 June an exchange of telephone calls between the 
War Department and National Defense Headquarters in Ottawa obtained 
the approval, and two RCAF squadrons were ordered to proceed to 
Yakutat. 34 

The RCAF No. 8 Bomber Reconnaissance Squadron of Bolingbrokes 
landed at Yakutat on 3 June after a 1,000-mile movement from Sea Island, 
British Columbia, and was after a few days transferred to Anchorage. De- 
tachments were sent to Kodiak and Nome for various periods. Canadian 
No. Ill Fighter Squadron of P-40's followed by shorter hops from Patricia 
Bay to Anchorage. Both units undertook patrol missions immediately upon 
their arrival. 

The AAF units had meanwhile moved forward to meet the Japanese 
task force sighted on 2 June, and engaged Japanese forces which attacked 
Dutch Harbor on 3 and 4 June. The concentration of the U.S. air units 
in the critical area had been facilitated by the expected arrival of the RCAF 

» History of the Western Defense Command, II, Ch. 7, 4; Memo, ACofS OPD for SUSAM, 
31 May 42, PDB 106-9; Interview, author with Lt Gen DeWitt, 24 Jan 52. 
34 History of the Western Defense Command, II, Ch. 7, 4. 



squadrons in the areas that had been stripped of their U.S. defenses. The 
emergency over, the two Canadian squadrons moved to Anchorage. In the 
meantime, the Annette Island force has been reinforced during June by the 
addition of No. 118 Fighter Squadron so that this force too comprised a 
fighter and a bomber reconnaissance squadron. During June RCAF "X" 
Wing Headquarters was established at Fort Richardson, Alaska, and control 
of the RCAF squadrons in Alaska was assigned to it." 

The movement of RCAF squadrons to, and continued support in, 
Alaska created a problem as to the payment of customs duties on their 
equipment and supplies. The problem was neatly solved by Secretary of State 
Hull, who designated all personnel of the Canadian units as "distinguished 
foreign visitors," thereby granting them free entry of goods. 36 

Canada's No. Ill Fighter Squadron, less a rear base element, was moved 
in July 1942 from Anchorage to Umnak, the advance AAF base in the 
Aleutian chain. The base echelon moved to Kodiak in October. Flying 
elements operated from Umnak and, beginning in late September, from an 
advance base at Adak. From Adak, elements of this squadron were par- 
ticipating as part of the AAF Alaskan fighter command in strikes against the 
Japanese garrison at Kiska, 200 miles beyond Adak. The operations of the 
squadron consisted mainly of bombing and strafing missions against ground 
targets, since the Japanese air force had evacuated the Aleutian chain, and 
only occasionally was a submarine sighted. When operating from advance 
bases without their ground echelons, RCAF elements were furnished the 
necessary ground support by AAF units. Such operations continued well 
into the winter. 

Shifts took place in the RCAF force late in 1942 and early in 1943. The 
No. Ill Fighter Squadron in October 1942 moved from Umnak and Anchor- 
age to Kodiak for the defense of that installation, which had also become the 
rear RCAF base in Alaska. The No. 8 Bomber Reconnaissance Squadron re- 
turned to Canada in February 1943. It was replaced by No. 14 Fighter 
Squadron, which accompanied by its own ground echelon established a main 
base at Umnak. The No. 14 Fighter Squadron also operated as two echelons, 
which alternated between Umnak and Amchitka, the advance base the United 
States had developed only seventy-five miles from Kiska and its Japanese gar- 

55 This and succeeding paragraphs draw upon D. F. Griffin, First Steps to Tokyo: The Royal 
Canadian Air Force in the Aleutians (Toronto: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1944), a brief narrative 
account of the RCAF role in the Aleutians by a public relations officer attached to units sta- 
tioned there. 

5,; Ltr, SUSAM to CG Alaska Defense Command, 23 Jun 42, PDB 126-7; Hull, Memoirs, 
II, 1182. 



rison. By May 1943 the forward element of the RCAF squadron was based 
at Amchitka and was participating in the strikes against Kiska whenever the 
weather permitted. Pilots of No. Ill Squadron were also sent forward to 
participate in these strikes. Both RCAF squadrons were integrated into Task 
Unit 16.1.1, which as a part of the North Pacific Force of the U.S. Pacific 
Fleet was commanded by Maj. Gen. William O. Butler of the Army Air 
Forces. The RCAF force in Alaska thus comprised four squadrons— two 
fighter squadrons in the Aleutians, and the fighter and bomber reconnaissance 
squadrons at Annette Island— well into the summer of 1943. 

After the successful assault and capture of Attu from the Japanese in the 
latter half of May 1943, No. 14 Fighter Squadron continued to participate in 
strikes on Kiska, the lone remaining Japanese garrison in the Aleutians. 
Since an amphibious force containing Canadian Army units was preparing for 
the assault of Kiska, the RCAF attacks were supporting not only U.S. forces 
but also Canadian ground forces. Of the August 1943 invasion of Kiska and 
of the Canadian participation, more will be said shortly. Aircraft of the 
RCAF made preinvasion attacks right up to D Day for the amphibious as- 
sault. Immediately after the occupation of Kiska by U.S. and Canadian 
assault forces, the advance party of the Canadian air squadron was withdrawn 
from Amchitka to Umnak. 

When the Japanese had been cleared from the Aleutians, Canada with- 
drew its air forces. The four RCAF squadrons returned to Canada during 
August and September 1943. Although the two squadrons at Annette Island 
were replaced in August by No. 149 Bomber Reconnaissance and No. 135 
Fighter Squadrons, by the end of the year these squadrons, too, together with 
the accompanying Canadian Army defensive detachments, had returned to 

The Royal Canadian Navy was the next of the Canadian armed services 
to join with U.S. forces in meeting the Japanese threat to Alaska. In May 
1942, anticipating the possible need for additional repair facilities as a result 
of the expected Japanese naval offensive into North Pacific waters, the Royal 
Canadian Navy placed its Pacific coast base facilities at the disposal of the 
U.S. Navy. The June 1942 Japanese occupation of Attu and Kiska and the 
threat of further penetrations toward Alaska and western Canada were soon 
met by a substantial build-up of U.S. naval forces in Alaskan waters. These 
U.S. forces were joined by five Royal Canadian Navy vessels which sailed 
from Esquimalt, Vancouver, for Kodiak on 20 August and participated as 
part of Task Force Tare, under Rear Adm. Robert Theobald, U.S. Navy, in 



operations for the occupation of Adak on 30 August. Through September 
and October 1942, these five Canadian vessels— the armed merchant cruisers 
Prince Robert, Prince Henry, and Prince David, and the corvettes Dawson and 
Vancouver— continued to operate under U.S. Navy command in convoy escort 
operations between Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, and intermediate points. 37 
Although these Canadian naval forces encountered no enemy units, few 
Canadian ships during World War II encountered such severe conditions of 
fog and gale as did these forces in the poorly charted, treacherous Aleutian 
waters. Soon after the return of the five vessels to Canadian Pacific waters, 
the three merchant cruisers were transferred to the Atlantic. Dawson and 
Vancouver remained in the Pacific and made a further contribution to Alaskan 
operations by aiding in the convoying of forces building up for the Attu and 
Kiska operations in the spring of 1943. 

Meanwhile, the Japanese foothold in the Aleutians was gradually strength- 
ened until in May 1943 enemy forces on Attu numbered 2,500 and on Kiska 
5,400. The United States had reacted quickly to this threat of deeper pene- 
trations into northwestern North America. Reinforced air and naval forces 
bombarded the Japanese garrisons and attempted to cut off their support and 
prevent reinforcement. United States forces then assaulted Attu, at the end 
of the chain of islands, on 12 May 1943 and achieved full control of it on 28 
May after bloody and bitter fighting. The success of the Attu assault made 
the isolated Japanese position on Kiska more difficult. But aided by fog and 
bad weather, the enemy was able to support the garrison, which was strongly 
established in fortified positions reinforced with mines and wire obstacles. 

It was for the reduction of Kiska, the last major enemy foothold in 
North America, that Canada and the Canadian Army prepared to make major 
contributions. Canadian participation in the assault operations was first dis- 
cussed in April 1943 by General DeWitt of the Western Defense Command 
and Maj. Gen. G. R. Pearkes, commanding the Canadian Army Pacific Com- 
mand. On 10 May the desirability of such a contribution was informally 
considered in Washington by the Senior Canadian Army Member of the 
Permanent Joint Board, Maj. Gen. Maurice Pope, and its U.S. secretary, 
John Hickerson. The next day, 11 May, Hickerson, in turn, expressed to 
the Senior U.S. Army Member of the Board his belief that, since the Cana- 
dians had as yet had little opportunity to fight, an invitation to participate 
would be gratefully received. Definite proposals were made and accepted, 

57 Office of Naval Intelligence Combat Narrative, The Aleutian Campaign (Washington: 
1945), pp. 19, 21; Canada, Naval Service Headquarters, Royal Canadian Navy Monthly Review, 
No. 5 (May 42), p. 8; Schull, The Far Distant Ships, pp. 122-23. 



and before the end of the month the senior U.S. and Canadian commanders 
on the Pacific coast were preparing detailed plans. 38 

The plans called for two Canadian forces. The first, comprising an 
infantry battalion and a light antiaircraft battery, would move to Amchitka 
or Attu in mid-June for garrison duty. The second would consist of a 
brigade group (regimental combat team) suitable for amphibious assault 
operations. Ottawa on 3 June approved the employment of the brigade 
group in the Kiska operation. The plan for the other force was dropped. 
Brigadier Harry W. Foster returned to Canada from the United Kingdom to 
assume command of the Canadian 13th Infantry Brigade, which was reor- 
ganized and given the code name Greenlight. The force comprised four 
infantry battalions (Canadian Fusiliers, Winnipeg Grenadiers, Rocky Moun- 
tain Rangers, and Le Regiment de Hull), the 24th Field Regiment, Royal 
Canadian Artillery, and engineer and machine gun companies and a medical 
detachment. The battalion Le Regiment de Hull was reorganized and 
equipped to provide the amphibious engineer support needed. 59 

The original plan for movement of forces for the assault on Kiska, Oper- 
ation Cottage, had called for departure of the 13th Brigade from Vancouver 
on 1 August, but the entire schedule was advanced a month. The necessary 
reorganizations and intensive training were urgently pressed. Brigade head- 
quarters adopted the U.S. Army staff patterns. The Canadian weapons of 
the force were augmented by U.S. 81-mm. mortars and 75-mm. pack 
howitzers. All other equipment— engineer, signal, medical, and quarter- 
master, including vehicles— was supplied by the United States. To avoid the 
Canadian customs difficulties involved in shipping U.S. materiel across the 
border into Canada for the Canadian brigade, shipment and delivery were 
made to the U.S. liaison officer with the force, who then turned it over to 
the Canadians. 

Before the Canadian force could leave Canada, the status of many of its 
members had to be clarified. Large numbers of men in the force had been 
compulsorily called up for training and home defense military service under 
the National Resources Mobilization Act of 1940, and they could be em- 
ployed outside of Canada and its territorial waters only on a voluntary basis 

Stacey, The Canadian Army, 1939-194}, p. 289; Ltr, Hickerson to SUSAM, 11 May 43, 
D/S Dominion Affairs Office file, PJBD 1943. Until the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, the 
Canadian Army force built up in Europe had taken part only in the Dieppe and other smaller 
raids. For a statement by Minister of National Defense Ralston on this problem, see H. C. 
Debates, 15 Feb 44, pp. 516-18. 

" The remainder of this account is based on Stacey, The Canadian Army, 1939-194}, pp. 
233, 289-91; History of the Western Defense Command, II, Ch. 7; and Alaskan Department, 
Official History of the Alaskan Department, pp. 117-45. 



unless the Canadian Government took special action. 40 An order-in-council 
of 18 June 1943 authorized the use of such personnel in the Aleutian Islands. 
The Minister of National Defense, in turn, made the order applicable to the 
conscripted personnel serving in the 13th Brigade. 41 

The brigade sailed from Vancouver Island on 12 July 1943 in four U.S. 
Army transports, and upon its arrival at Adak on the 19th continued its 
training, specializing in amphibious operations. Here its staff was thrown 
into intimate contact with American staffs and planners. The differences in 
organization and terminology were so great that at times the two groups 
seemed hardly to speak the same language. Upon its arrival in Alaska for 
the Kiska operation, the Greenlight force totaled 4,800. 

At about the same time that this force departed from Vancouver, another 
component of the Kiska assault force, also representing a Canadian con- 
tribution to the operation, sailed from San Francisco. The First Special Serv- 
ice Force, the unique formation whose three combat regiments were composed 
of Canadians and Americans intermingled without regard to nationality, was 
also earmarked to play an important role in the assault. 42 

The combined Canadian and U.S. ground forces for the assault numbered 
over 34,000 and were organized as Amphibian Training Force 9 under U.S. 
Maj. Gen. Charles H. Corlett. Units assigned to the Northern Sector were 
the U.S. 184th Infantry Regiment, the Canadian 13th Infantry Brigade, and 
the 3d Regiment of the First Special Service Force. Assigned to the South- 
ern Sector were the U.S. 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment, the U.S. 17th 
Infantry Regiment, and the 1st Regiment of the First Special Service Force. 
The U.S. 53d Infantry Regiment and the First Special Service Force (less two 
regiments) comprised the floating reserve. On 13 August, with training and 
briefing of troops completed and D Day set for 15 August, the force sailed 
for Kiska. In both sectors, First Special Service Force units had been selected 
to lead the assaults. In the Southern Sector, the 1st Regiment reached the 
island at 0120 on 15 August and quickly occupied all objectives. By noon, 
the southern portion of the island had been scoured and found devoid of the 
enemy. However, the possibility remained that the Japanese were holding 
out on the northern half of the island and Northern Sector operations there - 

40 The conscription issue was as much debated in Canada in World War II as in World 
War I. For accounts thereof, see the volumes on Canada in World Affairs by Dawson, Lin- 
gard and Trotter, and Soward, particularly the last. 

41 H. C. Debates, 11 Feb 44, p. 383. This action added fuel to the conscription debate, 
since the opposition charged that Kiska was outside the area, that is, "Canada and Canadian 
territorial waters," intended for employment of National Resources Mobilization Act personnel. 
Orders-in-council passed during 1942 and early 1943 had already extended such employment 
to include Newfoundland, Labrador, and Alaska. 

42 The story of this special unit is more fully narrated below, rp"p, 2?9-65~| 



fore proceeded as planned. With the initial objectives achieved, both forces 
moved out to establish full control over the twenty-five-mile-long island. 

When all objectives had been achieved and operations had ended, the 
reason for the silence that had greeted the initial landings and subsequent 
operations was apparent. The Japanese had succeeded in evacuating their 
garrison without detection on 28 July, three weeks before the assault. Fog, 
coupled with a withdrawal from the area of U.S. Navy forces for refueling, 
had given the Japanese the opportunity they needed to evacuate their troops. 
After the intensive preparations that had been made, the assault had proved 
to be a major anticlimax. Nevertheless, the troops involved were spared 
what would undoubtedly have been bitter fighting at the cost of many 

The First Special Force immediately returned to the United States, arriv- 
ing before the end of August, but the Canadian 13th Infantry Brigade was 
subjected to the bitter Aleutian weather for almost four months. Not until 
12 January 1944 did the 13th Brigade depart for British Columbia. 

It was particularly fitting that Canada, which had engaged in the defense 
of North America for twenty-five months preceding Pearl Harbor, should 
join in the operations that rid North America of its last enemy garrison. 
Fortunately, Canadian casualties in Alaska were light, numbering 2 killed 
and 4 wounded in the Canadian Army units and 17 dead or missing and 3 
wounded in the RCAF units. 

The First Special Service Force 

A remarkable facet of Canadian-U.S. military collaboration during World 
War II was the creation of the First Special Service Force. 43 Unique in its 
composition, training, equipment, and organization, and outstanding in its 
fighting ability, the force was an experiment without parallel in the history 
of the Canadian and U.S. Armies. It had its beginnings in the spring of 
1942 when Vice Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, British Chief of Com- 
bined Operations, succeeded in interesting General Marshall (who was in 
London to discuss a cross-Channel operation) in a diversionary operation 
called Plough. The concept underlying Plough was that a force specially 
trained and equipped to operate over snow could, by its superior capabilities 
in this "fourth element" of warfare, achieve major strategic gains through 
sabotage raids on Norwegian and Alpine hydroelectric and Rumanian oil- 
producing installations, as well as divert German forces from the projected 
cross-Channel invasion. Since the British were unable to produce in suffi- 

41 For a full history of the force, based on its records and written by one of its officers, see 
Robert D. Burhans, The Frst Special Service Force (Washington: Infantry Journal Press, 1947). 



cient time the principal materiel requirement, an oversnow vehicle of superior 
mobility, Mountbatten offered the entire project to General Marshall, who 
accepted it. 

The War Department, on Marshall's return to Washington, arranged with 
other government agencies for development work on the snow vehicle. The 
U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development and the War Production 
Board made rapid progress in the design and production of the vehicle, 
which was named the Weasel. 44 The U.S. agencies also recruited the services 
of the Canadian National Research Council to assist in the work. 

As the officer most familiar with the project, Lt. Col. Robert T. Frederick, 
who had carried out the War Department studies thereon, was directed on 
16 June 1942 to assume responsibility for organizing and commanding the 
First Special Service Force. His directive contemplated that the force might 
comprise United Kingdom, Canadian, and Norwegian personnel, as well as 
American. 45 United Kingdom or Norwegian participation in the force did 
not materialize, although the expert services of a few ski instructors and 
intelligence specialists, mostly Norwegian, were used in planning Plough 
and preparing the force. 

Canada began to consider participating in the Plough project during 
June 1942. Mountbatten, who had been sent by Churchill to Washington 
in early June, and Frederick had flown to Ottawa to discuss the matter with 
General Stuart, Chief of the General Staff, and other Canadian officials. On 
20 June the Canadian military planning representative in Washington re- 
ported to Ottawa the suggestion of Lt. Gen. Joseph T. McNarney, U.S. 
Army Deputy Chief of Staff, that a request might be made to Canada to sup- 
ply 500 officers and other ranks for the Plough force. Prime Minister King 
endorsed Canadian participation, and on 14 July provision of a contingent of 
47 officers and 650 other ranks was approved. 

While the Plough force was being organized, detailed planning for its 
employment continued. A decision was reached in favor of an operation in 
Norway, but it was never to materialize. The plan for a Norway operation 
received its death blow during a September trip to London of the force com- 
mander. There Colonel Frederick learned that lack of aircraft for transport- 
ing equipment had required cancellation of the operation. 

The Canadian Army General Staff, on being advised on 8 October 1942 
of the cancellation of the Norway operation, considered withdrawing the 
Canadian personnel from the Plough force. But because of a request from 

44 For an account of the Canadian role in the development of the Weasel, see Wilfrid Eggle- 
ston, Scientists at War (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1950), pp. 97-100. 

45 Text of the directive is reproduced in Burhans, The First Special Service Force, p. 11. 

Retreat Ceremony at Fort William Henry Harrison, Montana, for mem- 
bers of the First Special Service Force, 1943. 

General Marshall, who now visualized employment of the force in the 
Caucasus and pointed out the disruptive effect that withdrawal of the Cana- 
dian element would have on this highly trained and specialized unit, Canada 
decided to continue to participate. A condition of Cabinet War Committee 
approval of continuing participation was the right to review any operational 
project that might be contemplated. 46 

The First Special Service Force had meanwhile been activated at Fort 
William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana, on 19 July 1942. A rapid inflow 
of Canadian and U.S. personnel had begun, after a careful screening of 
volunteers from Canadian and U.S. camps had taken place. A Washington- 
Ottawa press release on 6 August 1942 made public the activation of this 
unique Canadian-U.S. force of hand-picked volunteers. 47 Each member had 

46 Stacey, The Canadian Army, 1939-194}, p. 297. 

47 Canadian officials, who looked upon the force as a joint undertaking, considered as unfor- 
tunate the statement in the War Department press release that this was "the first time in his- 
tory that Canadian troops have served as a part of a U.S. Army unit." 



to meet rigid physical requirements, and was to receive specialized training 
for offensive warfare, including parachute, amphibious landing, and mountain 
and desert warfare training. The mention of desert warfare in the press 
release was apparently designed to obscure the real planned role in the 
Norwegian snows. 

The force was organized into a combat element of 108 officers and 1,167 
enlisted men, and a service battalion of 25 officers and 521 enlisted men. 
The service echelon was made up wholly of Americans and provided all sup- 
ply, administrative, messing, and similar facilities, leaving the combat echelon 
entirely free of these housekeeping duties. The combat echelon comprised 
force headquarters and three regiments of two battalions each. Each bat- 
talion was divided into three companies, each company into three platoons, 
and each platoon into two sections, the basic fighting units of nine men each. 

Within the combat echelon, Canadians and Americans were integrated 
without regard to nationality. Officer and noncommissioned officer appoint- 
ments were initially allotted on a proportionate basis to personnel of both 
countries. Thereafter, promotions were made on the basis of ability, without 
regard to nationality. This system proved highly successful and resulted in 
an approximately equal division of promotions. 

When assembled, the conglomeration of former cowhands, miners, and 
woodsmen who had been recruited for the force undertook an accelerated 
training program, which included a rigorous program of physical hardening. 
After early parachute qualification, each member of the force was given in- 
tensive training in the use of all types of weapons the force carried, in opera- 
tion of the Weasel, and in demolitions, rock climbing, skiing, and hand-to- 
hand combat. Throughout the training process in Montana, a substantial 
rate of transfers from the force was maintained as individuals showed lack of 
will, stamina, or other essential qualifications. On 11 April 1943 the force 
proceeded to Camp Bedford, Virginia, to complete its preparation with a 
program of amphibious training. 

The equipment of the force was as unusual as its composition. After 
cancellation of the Norway operation, the force's weapons and equipment 
were augmented so that they included the Weasel, the Browning light 
machine gun, the submachine gun, the then new 2.36-inch antitank rocket 
launcher (bazooka), the Johnson automatic rifle, the 60-mm. mortar, and the 
flame thrower. The additions reflected the change in concept for employ- 
ment of the force from sabotage to powerful and sustained combat assault. 

The two governments in January 1943 formally confirmed the over-all 
administrative arrangements drafted by the military staffs when the force was 
formed. The Canadian Government undertook to provide pay for its per- 



Canadian and U.S. Soldiers of the First Special Service Force at bayonet 
practice, Fort William Henry Harrison. 

sonnel and transportation costs for their initial move to Helena, and to repay 
the United States the cost of the rations issued to Canadian personnel. The 
U.S. Government undertook to house, equip, and clothe the force (less the 
outfit worn to Helena by Canadian personnel), and to provide the transporta- 
tion and medical services required. 

The matter of the relative pay scales, which favored the Americans, was 
apparently the only unhappy aspect of the relationship of the force to its two 
sponsoring governments. Repeated efforts were made to place the Canadian 
personnel on the same pay scale as the Americans. Every effort was dis- 
approved by the Department of National Defense in Ottawa, which saw no 
more justification in this situation than in others where Canadians served 
alongside Americans. Fortunately the different rates, though a source of 
typical soldier griping, did not affect force morale seriously even when the 
force moved overseas and U.S. pay scales were augmented by 10 percent for 
officers and 20 percent for enlisted men. 

Administrative details posed no particular problem for the U.S. com- 
ponent, for the force trained and operated within the framework of the logis- 
tical and supporting U.S. Army establishment. When the force later moved 
to Europe, the logistical arrangement increased the administrative complica- 



tions for the Canadian component, which for Canadian administrative 
purposes had been designated the 1st Canadian Special Service Battalion. 
The commander of this formation was the senior Canadian officer present 
(initially the force executive and later one of the regimental commanders). 

Until the First Special Service Force moved from North America, the 
Canadian component was administered by the Department of National 
Defense in Ottawa through the Canadian Joint Staff in Washington. Since 
there would be no guarantee that the force would serve within easy com- 
munication of any other Canadian unit after the move from North America, 
it became necessary to authorize the Canadian battalion to issue certain types 
of orders, maintain field documents, and perform other functions normally 
assigned to a higher echelon. On the force's arrival in Italy, where the 
Canadian Army administrative facilities were available, the Canadian bat- 
talion yielded these functions to the higher echelons normally responsible, 
although the channel of communication continued to run from these echelons 
directly to Ottawa, instead of through Canadian Military Headquarters in the 
United Kingdom as was normal for Canadian units in Europe. Use of this 
channel of communication caused difficulties through considerable delays in 
reporting casualties and other matters. In August 1944 the personnel 
records of the battalion were transferred from Ottawa to Canadian Military 
Headquarters, thus restoring administrative channels of communication to a 
more normal basis. These administrative complications were in the over-all 
so small and were handled so competently by the Canadian administrative 
personnel that they were hardly apparent to U.S. members of the force staff, 
and they had no practical impact on the force's fighting capabilities. 

The thorough integration of Canadians and Americans within the force 
presented special problems in the exercise of command and administration of 
discipline. To solve certain of these, an order-in-council authorized (1) every 
Canadian officer in the force to exercise the disciplinary powers of a detach- 
ment commander with respect to Canadian personnel, (2) Canadian per- 
sonnel to be commanded, but not disciplined or punished, by U.S. per- 
sonnel of superior rank, and (3) detention of Canadians, if placed under 
arrest, in places provided by the United States. 48 Disciplinary powers within 
the Canadian battalion thus remained vested in its Canadian officers. The 
Canadian commanding officer was given broader powers than those normally 
granted a battalion commander. 

The impending departure of the force from the United States necessitated 
a grant of the power to convene field general courts-martial and, subject to 

48 Privy Council 629, 26 Jan 43. 



certain limitations, to confirm the findings and sentences imposed by them. 
After the Kiska operation was completed and while the force was preparing 
to depart for Italy, the powers of the commanding officer were further en- 
larged by granting him authority to mitigate, commute, or remit punish- 
ments and by removing most of the limitations on his power to sentence. 
In practice, a pattern of uniformity developed in the handling of all but the 
more serious offenses so that Canadian and U.S. members of the force were 
hardly aware that they were being disciplined under two different codes of 
military law. 

An additional Canadian administrative difficulty arose from the need to 
supply trained parachutists from time to time as replacements, once the force 
was in an advanced state of training. Since there was no other source of 
trained parachutists, a request in December 1942 for one hundred replace- 
ments was filled by taking them from the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, 
with a consequent undesirable effect on its operational readiness and morale. 
As a result of a recommendation by the Chief of the General Staff on 20 April 
1943, the decision was reached to furnish no further replacements on the 
grounds that the agreed Canadian share had been furnished and that, once 
committed to a special mission, no reinforcement whatsoever would take 
place. Nevertheless, a portion of the Canadian deficiency in September 1943 
was supplied after the Kiska operation and before the force's departure for 

Once the force was in Italy and committed operationally, the question of 
Canadian replacements again arose. While the U.S. component drew easily 
on the U.S. personnel replacement system, the Canadian policy of nonrein- 
forcement in the theater caused the Canadian strength to fall almost 40 per- 
cent below normal by May 1944. Because of this situation, the First Canadian 
Army commander, General Kenneth Stuart, had recommended in January 
1944 that the Canadian component be withdrawn. Before a final decision 
was reached the force became heavily engaged at Anzio, and, in addition, 
General Dwight D. Eisenhower expressed the opinion that it would be a 
mistake to withdraw the Canadian component. General Stuart then recom- 
mended that Canadian participation be continued but that the U.S. practice 
of using ordinary infantry replacements be adopted. This practice was 
followed for the remainder of the time the force was in existence. 

A minor element of administrative discord in regard to the Canadian 
component arose over the matter or awards and decorations. Canadians in the 
First Special Service Force had been awarded twenty-nine U.S. decorations by 
October 1944, whereas not a single British award had been received. The 
difficulty stemmed from the fact that Canadian members of the force com- 



peted on the same basis as U.S. troops of the U.S. army to which the force 
might be assigned for the very small number of British decorations awarded 
within that army. In October 1944 the Canadian battalion was placed on 
the same basis for British awards as other British and Canadian personnel in 
the theater so that its personnel ultimately received seventeen British awards 
in addition to a total of seventy U.S. decorations. 

Only the highlights of the excellent combat record of this unit can be 
mentioned here. 49 By early June 1943, a number of Canadian and U.S. 
training inspections had rated the force ready for combat. On 9 June 1943 
the War Department directed movement of the force to San Francisco and, 
on 12 June, obtained the approval of the Canadian Department of National 
Defense for its use on Kiska. The over-all and broader Canadian participa- 
tion in the Kiska assault, which unexpectedly found the enemy departed, has 
already been recounted. 

Having returned to San Francisco by 1 September 1943, the force a few 
weeks later sailed from Hampton Roads, Virginia, for North Africa on 28 
October as a result of a request from General Eisenhower, who contemplated 
using it for raids, sabotage, and guerrilla operations in Italy, southern France, 
or the Balkans. After only a few days in North Africa the First Special Serv- 
ice Force sailed for Italy to join the Fifth Army. The baptism of fire occurred 
on 3 December in the Mignano sector in Italy, where the force was engaged 
for six days in difficult operations to capture Monte la Difensa and Monte la 
Remetanea. Force casualties totaled 80 killed or missing and 350 wounded. 
Committed again on Christmas Day, 1943, the force remained engaged until 
10 January 1944, capturing several critical hill masses at great cost. 

After a move by sea from Naples to Anzio, the force on 2 February took 
over an 11,000-yard sector along the Mussolini Canal on the east flank of the 
beachhead. Here, until its relief on 9 May 1944, the force using highly effec- 
tive raiding tactics played an important role in the beachhead defense. In 
action again at the breakout, a detachment of the 1st Regiment was, on 4 
June, one of the first Allied elements to make a permanent entry into Rome. 
Two days later, on 6 June, after its brief but costly participation in the 
breakout operations, the force was relieved to ready itself for operations in 
southern France as part of the U.S. Seventh Army, which comprised U.S. and 
French troops. 

In the invasion of southern France the First Special Service Force easily 
accomplished its D-Day task of capturing the two easternmost of the lies 

See Burhans, The First Special Service Force. 



d'Hyeres on 15 August 1944. ,l) After transferring to the mainland a few 
days later, the force advanced rapidly eastward along the Riviera coast and by 
9 September had taken up a position behind the Franco-Italian boundary. 
The force held this position until 28 November, when it was withdrawn to 
a rear area for inactivation. 

Although the possibility that the First Special Service Force might be 
disbanded had been weighed earlier in 1944 in Ottawa, where by that time 
Canadian participation was considered an unnecessary dispersion of Canadian 
resources, serious consideration was not given to the matter until Ottawa on 
12 October 1944 received an indication from the War Department that in- 
activation was being contemplated by the United States. The War Depart- 
ment notified the Canadian Joint Staff in Washington on 28 October of its 
decision to disband the force, and the Minister of National Defense con- 
curred. Inactivation of the First Special Service Force took place near 
Villeneuve-Loubet in France on 5 December 1944 with a farewell parade and 
memorial service. After the force flag was furled, the Canadian component 
withdrew from the force to form its own battalion and march past the U.S. 
component. The next day the Canadian battalion of 37 officers and 583 
other ranks quit the force bivouac area, and its parachutists were sent to the 
United Kingdom as reinforcements for the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. 
A month later a large part of the U.S. component moved to northern France 
as replacements for the 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions. The remaining 
personnel were assigned to the concurrently activated 474th Infantry Regi- 
ment (Separate), which when brought to strength had little resemblance to 
the original force. 

Throughout its combat history, the First Special Service Force engaged 
but little in the highly specialized types of operations for which it had been 
trained. Despite its special equipment and training, the force never made a 
parachute assault or operated in snow country, and, of its two amphibious 
operations, one was unopposed. Nevertheless, it had proved itself in battle 
in difficult assault and raiding operations. On the other hand, the force rep- 
resented a costly expenditure of resources and a complex administrative effort, 
particularly to Canada because of the force's distance from Canadian admin- 
istrative machinery. Furthermore, the very nature and status of the force 
required frequent attention of the Combined Chiefs of Staff to proposals for 
employment of this group of less than 2,000 men, as well as diplomatic ex- 
changes to obtain Canadian acceptance of proposals— all in all an inordinate 

50 Two Canadian troopships Prince Henry and Prince Baudouin carried part of the force 
in the Hyeres landings. 


amount of high-level consideration in relation to the size of the force. But 
from the point of view of Canadian-U.S. relations, the unique experiment 
was a remarkable success. 

Canadian Army Pacific Force 

During the last year of the war Canada planned and began to implement 
a substantial participation in operations against Japan in close association 
with U.S. forces. During the Second Quebec Conference of the political and 
military leaders of the United States and United Kingdom in September 
1944, the Chief of the Canadian General Staff made known to the visiting 
chiefs of staff of both countries the desire of the Canadian Government to 
have its armed forces participate in the war against Japan after the defeat of 
Germany, not in more remote areas such as Southeast Asia, but in the Cen- 
tral and North Pacific, where they could share in the final assault on Japan 
proper. Prime Minister Churchill's advocacy of the Canadian aspirations at 
the last session of the conference won the approval of the President and the 
Combined Chiefs of Staff, and a brief statement accepting Canadian participa- 
tion in principle was added to the final report of the conference. 51 

Two months later, on 20 November, the Canadian Cabinet War Com- 
mittee approved a plan for a force of one division, with supporting troops, 
to be integrated into the U.S. military commands. The chairman of the Cana- 
dian Joint Staff on 9 December 1944 advised General Marshall of the Cabinet 
War Committee action and of the probable readiness of the force for dis- 
patch from Canada for active operations six months after V-E Day. Dur- 
ing this period the force would be organized in Europe, returned to North 
America, granted a month's leave, equipped, and trained. The Canadian 
Joint Staff sought the views of the War Department on the strength, com- 
position, and organization of the force and on operational and logistical 
aspects of its contemplated employment. 52 The Joint Chiefs of Staff, to 
whom General Marshall referred the Canadian plan, on 21 December 1944 
accepted it with the understanding that the force would be available for use 
in any of the operations to be mounted in the Pacific. In so notifying the 
chairman of the Canadian Joint Staff, the U.S. Joint Chiefs stated that un- 
certainty as to the availability date of the force precluded a decision as to its 
employment. 53 

51 Aide-memoire, given to General Marshall by the Chief of the Canadian General Staff, 16 
Sep 44, ABC 384 Canada (15 Sep 44); CCS 680/2, 16 Sep 44; Minutes, 2d Plenary Meeting, 
Octagon Conference Book; H. C. Debates, 4 Apr 45, p. 434. The Canadian decision was 
taken in Cabinet on 6 September 1944. 

52 Ltr, 9 Dec 44, ABC 384 Canada (18 Sep 44). 
" JCS 1198, 21 Dec 44. 



Three months later, on 28 March 1945, Maj. Gen. H. F. G. Letson, head 
of the Canadian Joint Starr", called on U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff 
General Thomas T. Handy to ask what the next step should be and to sug- 
gest a general discussion of the problems arising in connection with the pro- 
posed force. As a result of the interview, the Canadian Joint Staff presented 
specific proposals to General Handy on 23 April. The Canadian Govern- 
ment felt that the force should be organized along U.S. Army lines to facili- 
tate staff arrangements for movement, maintenance, and operation. 54 As a 
means of expediting the reorganization and training, it was suggested that 
Canadian cadres be first trained in the United States. These cadres would 
in turn carry out the necessary training within the force, which would not 
be trained for amphibious operations. Canada preferred to use its own 
equipment, but it was prepared to utilize U.S. equipment, except for the 
distinctive Canadian uniform, to the extent that the War Department con- 
sidered necessary. Expenses connected with equipping and maintaining the 
force were to be borne by Canada. The Canadians asked for U.S. views on 
these proposals in order that their plans might go forward, and they also 
offered to furnish a planning team to work with the appropriate U.S. 
authorities. 55 

The War Department outlined the Canadian proposals to General of 
the Army Douglas Mac Arthur, who was engaged in planning for the inva- 
sion of Japan, and suggested that a Canadian infantry division be accepted 
for use as a follow-up unit in Operation Coronet, the invasion of Honshu 
Island. General MacArthur gave his concurrence, and the Canadian plan 
was then considered by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. On 15 May the Joint 
Chiefs notified General Letson that the following basis was considered suit- 
able for Canadian participation: 

a. The force should comprise a reinforced infantry division totaling 
30,000, possibly to include armor, to be employed as a follow-up unit in the 
invasion of Japan itself. 

b. The force should train in the United States and be organized along 
U.S. lines unless this would delay employment. 

c. Equipment, except for uniforms, should be of U.S. types and the 
force should be supplied in the same manner as the U.S. troops. 

54 General A. G. L. McNaughton, Minister of National Defense from November 1944 to 
August 1945 and a postwar Canadian PJBD chairman, in 1948 stated that a primary reason 
for this step was to obtain experience with the U. S. system of organization "in view of the 
obvious necessity for the future to co-ordinate the defense of North America." (Department 
of External Affairs, Statements and Speeches No. 48/18, 12 Apr 48.) 

"JCS "1198/1, 15 May 45. 



d. The force would be returned from the Pacific in a priority con- 
sistent with that applied to all forces.'*'' 

On 21 May 1945 General Letson was able to report to the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff not only the agreement of the Canadian Chiefs of Staff but also the 
fact that a planning team was already at work in Washington. 57 

Immediately after the German surrender on 8 May 1945, Canadian forces 
in Europe were canvassed for volunteers. Although over 78,000 had 
volunteered by mid-July, only some 39,000 were accepted as of age and cate- 
gory suitable for the force. This number was far short of the total needed since 
it had been estimated that, in addition to the 30,000-man force, 33,600 per- 
sonnel would have to be trained as replacements. 58 

The formation of the 6th Canadian Infantry Division had meanwhile 
been approved in Ottawa on 1 June 1945, as was a special Pacific campaign 
pay bonus for members of the force when they departed Canada. Training 
cadres for the force, which was to assemble at Camp Breckinridge, Ken- 
tucky, in early September, were enrolled in appropriate U.S. Army schools 
and numbered about 325 officers and 1,300 other ranks by mid-August. 
When Japan surrendered, plans were well in hand to convert the Canadian 
"brigades" to "regiments," field artillery "regiments" to "battalions," and 
otherwise mold the Canadian force to the U.S. pattern. 59 

Immediately after the Japanese surrender, the chairman of the Canadian 
Joint Staff advised the War Department that Canada was canceling the 
movement of further personnel but would formally notify the United States 
of its intention to drop plans for the force only when it was certain that 
hostilities would not be resumed. On 31 August 1945 the formal notifica- 
tion was given. 60 Although the Japanese surrender forestalled participation 
by Canadian forces in the operations against Japan, Canada expressed no 
desire to have those forces participate in the occupation that was undertaken 
immediately by U.S. forces. Nor did Canada join the British Common- 
wealth Occupation Force, established in Japan the following year, compris- 
ing Australian, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and Indian units. 61 

Long before V-J Day Canada also made efforts to have RCAF units par- 
ticipate in the Pacific war in collaboration with the U.S. Army Air Forces. 
After touring the Pacific combat areas, RCAF Air Vice Marshal L. F. Steven- 

,( ' Ibid. The 30,000 figure comprised the division with supporting and service units and an 
initial increment of replacements. 
V JCS 1198/2, 22 May 45. 

,s Stacey, The Canadian Army, 1939-1945, p. 292. 
"Ibid.; H. C. Debates, 18 Feb 48, p. 1350. 

60 Memo for Record, 18 Aug 45, OPD 336.2 (18 Aug 45); JCS 1198/4, 4 Sep 45. 

61 Department of State Bulletin. February 10, 1946, XIV, 220-22. 



son returned reportedly unimpressed by British operations and determined to 
recommend that the RCAF operate with U.S. forces. As a result of infor- 
mal discussions between the U.S. military attache in Ottawa and Air Mar- 
shal R. Leckie, the U.S. Ambassador in Ottawa suggested to Washington 
that here was an opportunity to have the RCAF adopt U.S. equipment if 
the problem of Canadian inability to purchase the aircraft could be solved. 62 

The Ambassador's suggestion was studied in the War Department, where 
General Arnold, commanding the Army Air Forces, approved the proposal 
as being in line with AAF long-range policy to get all the countries of the 
Western Hemisphere to standardize on U.S. equipment. In replying to the 
Secretary of State, the Secretary of War suggested that the Canadians submit 
a formal request for U.S. air force materiel. After the Department of State 
informally advised the War Department that the RCAF could not, for 
political reasons, formally submit a request, the two departments sought 
other means of solving the problem. 65 

On learning that AAF officials were interested in discussing the scheme, 
Air Marshal Leckie came to Washington in mid-March 1945. There the 
AAF offered him enough Boston medium bomber (A-20) aircraft to equip 
several squadrons. Leckie stated he was not interested in equipping RCAF 
units destined for the Pacific with an outmoded type of aircraft, and the dis- 
cussions ended. 64 To the Canadians, the offer, almost inevitably doomed to 
rejection, seemed to be evidence that the AAF wanted to run the air war 
in the Pacific without any outside help. 65 

Canadian officials discontinued efforts to participate with the AAF and 
proceeded with plans for a Pacific air effort in co-operation with the RAF. 
At the time of the Japanese surrender, plans were going forward for the for- 
mation of a Tiger Force of eight RCAF heavy bomber squadrons. But 
with the signing of the act of Japanese surrender, these plans, like those for 
the Canadian Army Pacific Force, were dropped and the units disbanded. 

In the final stages of the Japanese war, Canadian Army participation 
comprised two small special units and a number of individual observers, 
while the RCAF was supporting two transport squadrons in Burma and 
a coastal squadron in Ceylon. The Royal Canadian Navy alone of the Cana- 
dian armed forces engaged the enemy in the closing stages of the war 

62 Ltr, 22 Nov 44, to Hickerson, D/S 740.0011 P.W./l 1-2244. 

" Ltr, SW to Secy State, 29 Jan 45, D/S Office of Dominion Affairs file, PJBD 1945. 

64 Memo for File, J. G. Parsons, 6 Apr 45, D/S Office of Dominion Affairs file, PJBD 1945. 

65 Memo/Conv, Lewis Clark and Deputy Minister for Air Herbert Gordon, 14 May 45, OPD 
336.2 Canada (24 Jun 45). With the RCAF by that date planning to operate with the RAF, 
Gordon indicated that the Canadian preference still would have been to operate with U.S. forces. 



against Japan in what had become a predominantly U.S. theater of opera- 
tions. 66 

At the time of the Second Quebec Conference and its endorsement of 
Canadian participation in the Pacific war, the Royal Canadian Navy had 
plans in hand for a Pacific force of two cruisers, two light fleet aircraft car- 
riers, appropriate smaller vessels, and 22,000 personnel. In the next month 
the Cabinet War Committee approved a somewhat modified program which 
eliminated the carriers and some of the smaller ships. 67 The modified pro- 
gram, calling for sixty ships and 13,500 personnel, was by early 1945 in the 
early stages of implementation. 

Of the Canadian naval forces operating against the Japanese, HMCS 
Uganda, a cruiser, was the only ship actually to take part in the fighting 
alongside U.S. and other Allied vessels. Having arrived in Australian waters 
on 9 March 1945, Uganda left the forward base at Leyte in the Philippines 
on 6 April to join British Task Force 57, which was operating under the 
command of the U.S. Fifth Fleet during the assault on Okinawa. It did 
picket duty in a force that included four British Fleet aircraft carriers. In 
subsequent operations against the Japanese, Uganda bombarded a Miyako 
Island airfield and Truk, and participated in strikes against Kure, Kobe, and 
Nagoya on the main Japanese island of Honshu. Scheduled for duty with 
the Canadian forces preparing to assist in the final assault on the Japanese 
home islands, Uganda departed western Pacific waters for Canada on 27 July 
to be remanned by volunteers for Pacific duty. On V-J Day Uganda was 
at Esquimalt, Vancouver Island, and two other Royal Canadian Navy ships 
were en route to the British Pacific Fleet— Ontario in the Red Sea and Prince 
Robert at Sydney, Australia. 68 The war with Japan ended just as Canada's 
plans for large-scale participation were nearing fruition. 

66 Two Canadian infantry battalions that arrived at Hong Kong shortly before Pearl Harbor 
were part of the valiant British garrison overrun there at the very beginning of the Pacific war. 
For this story, see Stacey, The Canadian Army, 1939-1945, pp. 273-88. 

67 Tucker, The Naval Service of Canada, II, 99-102. 

68 Schull, The Far Distant Ships, pp. 408-13; Tucker, The Naval Service of Canada, II, 464- 



Co-operation in Other Fields 

The web of U.S.-Canadian co-operation during World War II spread its 
threads throughout many fields other than the activities of the armed serv- 
ices, which themselves involved, over and beyond co-operation in operational 
and logistical matters, the working out of many common problems in the 
fields of military administration, discipline, training, and supply. Research 
and development programs enjoyed a degree of collaboration which guaran- 
teed that the discoveries and advances of each nation were shared by the 
other in the many fields of investigation. And, as a partner in the combined 
program for atomic energy research, Canada made significant contributions 
to the development of the atomic weapon. In the field of arms production, 
the two countries worked out extraordinary arrangements to see not only 
that the full Canadian production potential was realized but also that the 
Canadian economy received enough support to prevent the Canadian war 
production effort from having harmful effect. 

Extensive co-operation also took place on many matters only indirectly 
related to the main military programs of Canada and the United States, some 
of which are recorded by other authors or elsewhere in this study. 1 A few 
examples may be cited. Beginning in 1941, the two countries agreed, for 
the duration of the war, to permit increased diversions of the waters of the 
Niagara River, above the Falls, as a means of increasing the electric power 
supply. 2 For a similar purpose, agreement was reached and repeated an- 
nually to provide for the raising of the level of the Lake of St. Francis on 
the St. Lawrence River. 3 Several measures provided for more effective use 
of transportation facilities available on the Great Lakes. The two countries 
agreed in 1941 reciprocally to relax their load-line regulations in order to 
permit lake shipping to carry increased amounts of ores and other materials. 4 

'James, Wartime Economic Co-operation; R. Dougall, "Economic Co-operation with Canada, 
1941-1947," Department of State Bulletin, June 22, 1947, XVI, 1185-92, 1246. 

2 EAS, 209, and CTS, 1941, No. 7; EAS, 223, and CTS, 1941, No. 15; Exchange of Notes, 
3 May 44, Department of State Bulletin, May 13, 1944, X, 455. 

5 EAS, 291; CTS, 1941, No. 19; and CTS, 1942, No. 18; EAS, 377, and CTS, 1943, No. 
15; EAS. 424, and CTS, 1944, No. 26. The last extended the agreement for the duration of 
the emergency, subject to annual review. 

4 CTS, 1941, No. 20; Privy Council 5581, 24 Jul 41. 



The United States later lifted its restrictions on the transportation of ores 
between U.S. lake ports by Canadian vessels, thus permitting over-all im- 
provement of the ore transportation situation through use of shipping 
resources made available by Canada. 5 

One perennially discussed project, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence seaway, 
is notably missing from the catalog of joint undertakings of Canada and the 
United States during World War II. On the eve of Pearl Harbor an execu- 
tive agreement on the oft-studied project awaited action on the floor of the 
House of Representatives. Although a similar treaty signed in 1932 had 
been rejected by the Senate in 1934, the 1941 technique of approval of an 
executive agreement by simple majorities in the Congress and Parliament 
offered promise of success. Although the seaway and power project had 
been strongly supported by President Roosevelt as a defense measure before 
Pearl Harbor, with U.S. entry into the war Congress deferred consideration 
of the project in favor of more urgent undertakings. 6 

Administration and Personnel 

Initially, U.S. citizens who enlisted in the Canadian armed forces before 
Pearl Harbor lost their citizenship by being required to take an oath of 
allegiance to the British crown. President Roosevelt considered the question 
and concluded that U.S. citizens could enlist in the Canadian forces without 
loss of citizenship if they were not obliged to take the oath of allegiance. 
When this conclusion was conveyed informally to the Canadian Govern- 
ment, it ceased to require the oath from U.S. enlistees. 7 

Immediately after U.S. entry into the war, U.S. authorities received large 
numbers of requests from U.S. citizens and former citizens serving with 
Canadian forces for transfer to the armed forces of the United States. The 
Permanent Joint Board on Defense discussed the problem on 20 December 
1941. Although the Canadian members fully agreed that s^ch transfers 
were desirable from a morale standpoint, they expressed concern over the 
adverse effects of such a step. For one thing, the instructor staff of the 
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, which included several hundred 

5 PL 90, 4 16, and 695, 77th Congress. 

6 From the extensive literature on this project, only two official sources are cited as briefly 
covering the background and World War II consideration thereof: Department of State Bul- 
letin, November 4, 1945, XIII, 715-19; Department of External Affairs, External Affairs, I, No. 
2 (February 1949), 3-11. 

7 Hull, Memoirs, I, 775; Privy Council 2399, 7 Jun 40; 3294, 20 Jul 40; 3511, 30 Jul 40. 
At the outbreak of World War II, only British subjects could be enlisted or commissioned in 
the Canadian forces. By an order- in-council of 14 September 1939 (Privy Council 2677), Can- 
ada created the RCAF Special Reserve, which could accept aliens who were, however, required 
to take an oath of allegiance. A few months later, the Canadian Army made similar provi- 
sions to permit the enlistment of Americans and other aliens. 



Americans, would be disrupted. For another, several thousand Americans 
were in the course of being trained, and Canada had already expended many 
millions of dollars in training them. The active units from which those 
who had completed training would be transferred would also be impaired. 
These prospects were not bright ones for Canada, which was already faced 
with the virtual drying up of the flow of U.S. enlistees as a result of Pearl 
Harbor. 8 The Permanent Joint Board was unable to agree on a recommen- 
dation on the subject at that meeting. A few days later U.S. Chairman 
LaGuardia obtained President Roosevelt's approval of the U.S. Section's 
point of view. Canada and the United Kingdom shortly thereafter agreed 
in principle to a transfer arrangement, and on 17 January 1942 the President 
announced publicly that arrangements were being made. He pointed out, 
however, that the need to minimize the impact of transfers on the effective- 
ness of British and Canadian units would preclude immediate action and 
necessitate considerable delays. 9 

The armed forces in both Canada and the United States continued to 
study the technical and administrative problems involved in the transfer. 
In March 1942 the United States proposed an agreement based on arrange- 
ments tentatively worked out for effecting the transfers. Under the 
proposals, U.S. enlistees were to be given the opportunity to apply for trans- 
fer between 6 and 20 April 1942. The United States would then send boards 
of officers to Canada to interview the applicants, with power to appoint or 
enlist them. Similar Canadian boards would discharge or release the per- 
sonnel but would be empowered to postpone transfers "if in their opinion 
immediate transfer would prejudicially affect the common war effort." The 
Canadian Government undertook to give effect to the agreement proposed 
by the United States. 10 

A Canadian- American Military Board, headed by Maj. Gen. Guy V. 
Henry (retired) who was later to become Senior U.S. Army Member of the 
Permanent Joint Board on Defense, visited thirty-three Canadian cities be- 
tween 5 May and 3 June 1942. The board effected the transfer of 2,058 of 
the approximately 5,000 Americans stationed in Canada of the total of 
16,000 Americans in the Canadian forces. The AAF received 1,444 of those 
transferring, of which 665 were pilots. The transfer of 51 pilots was de- 
ferred so as not to interfere with the RCAF training program. Since only 
a fraction of those eligible made the transfer, the impact on the Canadian 

8 Journal, PDB 124; Ltr, Hull to Roosevelt, 15 Jan 42, D/S 84l.2221/305a. 
'Journal, PDB 124; Department of State Desp, 20 Jan 42, to U.S. Diplomatic and Consular 
Officers in Canada and Newfoundland, D/S 841.2221/306a. 
I0 EAS, 245; CTS, 1942, No. 5. 



war effort was smaller than had been anticipated, although the training of 
those who did transfer represented a Canadian investment of about $25 
million. 11 

The Canadian- American Military Board on 31 July 1942 became the 
Inter- Allied Personnel Board and thereafter handled similar matters with 
other countries. The new board soon developed a voluminous correspond- 
ence relating to many of the approximately 3,000 Americans in the Canadian 
armed forces serving in Canada who claimed lack of opportunity to make 
the transfer. As a result, transfers from the Canadian Army were reopened 
in October 1943 and from the RCAF in March 1944. Under the supple- 
mentary arrangements, 463 were transferred from the RCAF to the AAF, 137 
from the Canadian Army to the U.S. Army, and 338 from the U.S. Army 
to the Canadian Army. 12 

In early 1942 while examining the problem of transferring these Amer- 
icans, the authorities of the two countries also discussed the application of 
compulsory military service requirements of one country to resident nationals 
of the other country. In the interests of individual morale and each coun- 
try's war effort, the United States proposed that a Canadian national residing 
in the United States who had not declared his intention of becoming a U.S. 
citizen could, if drafted for service under the U.S. Selective Training and 
Service Act of 1940, elect to serve in the Canadian armed forces instead. 
Canada was to grant reciprocal treatment to U.S. citizens living in Canada. 
Canada agreed to this arrangement on 6 April 1942, and in the following 
months established at seven points in the United States military personnel 
centers for the purpose of enlisting such of the 91,000 nondeclarant male 
Canadians who, in place of being drafted into the U.S. armed forces, might 
choose to serve with the Canadian forces. 13 A few months later, after 
Canada had amended its compulsory military service regulations to include 
the conscription of aliens, the arrangement became applicable to U.S. citizens 
residing in Canada. Since the number of U.S. citizens that might be 
drafted by Canada was small, the United States did not establish enlisting 
offices in Canada but adopted a simplified procedure for enlisting these 
individuals. 14 

Many administrative problems of lesser importance arose and were solved 

11 Department of State Bulletin, August 22, 1942, VII, 711-13; Canada at War, No. 27 
(Aug 43), p. 41; Memo, Maj Gen G. V. Henry for Maj Gen B. K. Yount, 16 Jun 42,' AG 
336.4 Cdn-American Mil Bd (6-11-42). 

12 Memo, Chairman Inter-Allied Personnel Board for CofS, 15 May 46, AG 334 Inter-Allied 
Personnel Bd (15 May 46). 

"EAS, 249; CTS, 1942, No. 7; H. C. Debates, 28 May 43, p. 3139, and 1 Jun 43, p. 3216. 
14 CTS, 1942, No. 14. 



by the two countries in a spirit of friendly co-operation. When in June 
1942 Canada suggested that the payment of its forces in Alaska in Canadian 
dollars presented administrative difficulties and put Canadian soldiers at a 
disadvantage because of the need to sell their currency at a discount, the 
United States made arrangements whereby Canadian paymasters were sup- 
plied with U.S. currency. 15 In May 1943 a reciprocal arrangement was made 
under which service personnel of either country could obtain free medical 
and dental service at a service facility of the other country if facilities of 
their own were not available. 16 When a requirement arose during the sum- 
mer of 1944 for hospital facilities for the Canadian armed forces in Edmon- 
ton, and empty beds were available in the U.S. Army hospital there, 
seventy-five beds were made available to Canada. 17 In another instance, to 
improve the delivery of mail to Canadian forces in Sicily and Italy, the U.S. 
Army agreed in 1943 to carry some 800 to 1,000 sacks weekly in U.S. ships 
and invited Canada to place personnel in the U.S. Army Post Office in New 
York City to assist in handling the mail. Canada, for its part, in 1943 
accorded the United States the right to operate six military radio broadcast- 
ing stations in Canada for morale and recreation purposes. 18 At the end of 
the same year, when insufficient shipping was available to return U.S. per- 
sonnel from Alaska, Canada loaned to the United States the SS Princess 
Louise for use in troop movements. 19 

Personnel of visiting forces who deserted or were absent without leave 
were a problem in both countries, although the problem was greater in 
respect to U.S. forces in Canada. The United States established procedures 
for apprehending, detaining, and transferring Canadian deserters and 
absentees in the United States. The Canadian Government, at the request 
of the United States, provided similar arrangements for U.S. deserters and 
absentees in Canada. 20 

The two governments also made arrangements that effected major sav- 
ings in administrative effort with respect to claims arising from collisions 
between government vessels and between vehicles. In several exchanges of 
notes, the two governments agreed that, in cases where such a collision took 
place, each government would bear all the expenses arising directly or in- 
directly from the damage to its own vessel or vehicle and would not make 

15 Disposition Form, to CofS, 20 Jun 42, PDB 111-10. 

16 Canada at War, No. 25 (Jun 43), p. 60. 

17 Journal, 6-7 Sep 44 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 
18 EAS, 400; CTS, 1944, No. 1. 

"Memo, SUSAM for Chief, Overseas Troop Branch, ASF, 26 Nov 43, PDB 114-6. 
20 WD Cir 258, 1944; Privy Council 6577, 23 Oct 45. 



any claim against the other government. 21 Each government quickly made 
provision for settling claims made by residents of the other country arising 
from accidents involving vehicles or aircraft of the first. Under the author- 
ity of an act of Congress of 2 January 1942, the War Department in 1943 
constituted a number of claims commissions within its various commands 
in Canada to settle such claims. Canada took reciprocal action soon there- 
after under authority of an approved minute of the Treasury Board. 22 

Questions of taxation were worked out to the satisfaction of the United 
States, the government mostly concerned. In the agreements that author- 
ized the two major U.S. projects, the Alaska Highway and the Canol 
Project, Canada waived (1) the duties, taxes, fees, and similar charges con- 
nected with the equipment and supplies or their movement, (2) the income 
tax of the U.S. residents engaged on the projects, and (3) the royalties on 
the oil produced by the Canol Project. 24 Canada went even further and 
agreed that the United States should not be taxed by provincial or municipal 
authorities. In those instances where it became necessary for the United 
States to pay such taxes, Canada undertook to make reimbursement for the 
payments. 25 

Another administrative arrangement agreed upon by the two govern- 
ments had as its object the simplification of procedures for disposing of 
prizes captured by the forces of the two countries. Under the agreement, 
which was reciprocal, a prize captured by the United States in Canadian ter- 
ritorial waters, or captured on the high seas and then brought into Canadian 
territorial waters, was disposed of through the exercise of jurisdiction by 
district courts of the United States. 26 

The Rush-Bagot Agreement 

One of the cornerstones of Canadian-U.S. friendship, the Rush-Bagot 
Agreement of 1817, was stretched to its elastic limit through interpretation 

21 EAS, 330, and CTS, 1943, No. 12; TIAS, 1581, and CTS, 1944, No. 10; TIAS, 1582, 
and CTS, 1946, No. 42. 

22 PL 393. 77th Congress; Army Regulation 25-90, 22 Apr 43; Privy Council 71/3711, 5 
May 43. 

23 For a general examination of the problem of taxation of foreign forces, by authors who 
participated in the development of the U.S. positions, see Chas. Fairman and Archibald King, 
"Taxation of Friendly Foreign Armed Forces," American Journal of International Law, XXXVIII 
(1944), 258-77. 

24 EAS, 246, and CTS, 1942, No. 13; EAS, 386, and CTS, 1942, No. 23. See also Depart- 
ment of National Revenue WM No. 75 and WM No. 75 (Revised), published under authority 
of Privy Council 53/8097. The revised order is in Canadian War Orders and Regulations, I 
(1944), 369-72. 

25 EAS, 339; CTS, 1943, No. 11. 

26 EAS, 394; CTS, 1943, No. 13. Privy Council 6092, 3 Aug 43; Proclamation 2594, 8 FR 



designed to meet World War II needs. Its limitation of three vessels of 
not more than one hundred tons each on the Great Lakes had hindered 
World War I programs, and, although modification was studied shortly 
thereafter, no changes were made. 

Even before the start of World War II, the limitation began to hamper 
the naval training and construction programs of the two countries. Secre- 
tary of State Hull was determined to preserve the agreement, which over 
one hundred twenty years had achieved a symbolic importance. Whereas 
changes in ship design, the construction of the Welland Canal, and other 
circumstances had outdated the underlying hypotheses of the treaty, Hull 
considered the spirit of the agreement to be its essential element. So long 
as they did no violence to the spirit of the agreement, interpretations that 
took account of conditions in 1939 would, in his view, better serve the needs 
of the day. Accordingly, on 9 June 1939, Hull proposed that the following 
arrangements should, in accordance with this approach, be acceptable: 

a. Vessels could be constructed for movement to tidewater immediately 
on completion, but no armament could be installed until after they had left 
the Lakes. 

b. Five outmoded U.S. Navy vessels of from 1,000- to 2,000-ton dis- 
placement could be maintained for training purposes. 

c. Armament could be mounted somewhat in excess of the treaty 
limitations and used for target practice. 27 

These proposed arrangements were accepted by the Canadian Government 
and made effective. 

A year later, with Canada embroiled in the war in Europe and its 
Atlantic shipyards congested, the Canadian Government sought further 
liberalization of the agreement. It proposed that installation of armaments 
on ships be permitted on the Lakes provided that such armaments be 
rendered incapable of use on the Lakes and that the ships be moved from 
the Lakes promptly on completion. Each government was to keep the other 
fully informed as to the nature of its construction program. These pro- 
posals were accepted by the United States on 2 November 1940. 28 

The next liberalization of the Rush-Bagot Agreement was proposed in 
February 1942 by the United States, by then a belligerent, in order to elimi- 
nate handicaps imposed by even the 1940 interpretation of the agreement. 
In order that vessels constructed on the Lakes might be combat ready upon 
reaching the open sea, the U.S. Government suggested that, for the duration 

27 TIAS, 1836; CTS, 1940, No. 12. 

28 TIAS, 1836; CTS, 1940, No. 12; H. C. Debates, 24 Mar 41, pp. 1777-79. 



of hostilities, the complete installation and test firing of all armaments on 
vessels constructed on the Lakes should be permitted there. With the in- 
tensification of the German submarine offensive in the northwestern Atlantic 
putting a burden on the seaboard shipyards, Canada readily acquiesced. 29 
This additional interpretation of the agreement adequately met the needs 
of the wartime situation, and no further arrangements were sought. After 
V-J Day the 1942 interpretation became ineffective. 

In 1946 the two governments again examined the 1817 agreement. 
They reaffirmed its historic importance as a symbol of the friendly relations 
between the two countries. In keeping with discussions that had taken 
place in the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, Canada suggested that the 
use of vessels for training purposes should be considered within the spirit 
of the agreement, provided each country kept the other fully informed con- 
cerning such training activities. The United States found the proposal 
acceptable and the Rush-Bagot Agreement, reinvigorated through the new 
interpretation, continued its role as a symbol of U.S. -Canadian friendship. 50 

Miscellaneous Co-operation 

The foundation for a full and complete exchange of military information 
between Canada and the United States had been laid in the very first recom- 
mendation of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense. Procedures for 
exchanges were developed immediately, the principal mechanism being the 
Board and the planning teams that drafted the 1940 and 1941 defense plans. 
The establishment of the Canadian Joint Staff in Washington in July 1942 
led to a Canadian request for an improvement in the arrangements for 
exchange of information. Upon the recommendation of the Joint Staff 
Planners, the Joint Chiefs of Staff designated the former as its liaison with 
the Canadian Joint Staff. This liaison was primarily related to strategic 
planning and military operations. 31 

The mechanics for exchange of intelligence (data concerning the enemy), 
as distinguished from general military information, had been established long 
before Pearl Harbor, and in this area actual exchanges of staff officers im- 
proved the effectiveness and completeness of the arrangement. These 
exchanges continued satisfactorily throughout the war except for a period 
of months in the latter part of 1944, when, because of the heavy turnover 
of personnel in the War Department, the liaison deteriorated. It soon 
improved. 32 

"TIAS, 1836; CTS, 1942, No. 3. 
50 TIAS, 1836; CTS, 1946, No. 40. 
31 JCS 82, 18 Aug 42. 

52 Ltr, Maj Gen H. F. G. Letson to Maj Gen J. E. Hull, 6 Feb 45, and Reply, from Maj 
Gen H. A. Craig, 12 Feb 45, OPD 336 Canada, Sec. 1-A (7-15-42). 



Throughout 1941 the flow of information increased through interchange 
of observer groups that visited the activities and facilities of the other coun- 
try. Significant numbers of Canadian personnel also attended U.S. Army 
motor maintenance, tank techniques and tactics, motorcycle operation, and 
similar formal training, courses. 

Reciprocal training assistance took other forms. In October 1941 the 
United States authorized Canada to use U.S. territorial waters in Puget 
Sound for an aerial torpedo range. Later the same year, just after Pearl 
Harbor, Canada offered use of some of its air training facilities to the United 
States, anticipating that with the cutting off of the flow of U.S. trainees into 
the RCAF the facilities would be idle. The United States did not avail 
itself of this offer. It did, however, make use of Canadian facilities at Camp 
Shilo, Manitoba, during the winter of 1942-43. A detachment of some 900 
personnel was sent to Shilo to conduct cold weather tests in the use of tanks 
and other combat vehicles, trucks, guns and ammunition, and other ord- 
nance. The Shilo arrangement was part of a reciprocal agreement under 
which Canada sent 600 men to Fort Benning, Georgia, for parachute train- 
ing, to prepare them for service in the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. 

Other co-operative training ventures were the cold weather exercises 
Eskimo (a 150-mile move by a composite force in the dry cold of central 
Saskatchewan) and Polar Bear (a similar move across the coastal moun- 
tains in British Columbia from the interior dry cold to the coastal wet cold) 
conducted during the winter of 1944-45. In the early spring of 1945 a 
third similar joint exercise, Lemming, was carried out near Churchill for the 
purpose of testing the operation of various types of oversnow vehicles on 
the "barren grounds" of northern Canada and on the Hudson Bay sea ice. 
The forces involved were basically Canadian and Canadian equipped, and the 
United States contributed and benefited by providing observers and assisting 
specialists and also tractors and other materiel. 

One major Canadian proposal for training co-operation was studied over 
a period of months but failed to materialize. It involved the use by the 
United States of surplus training facilities of the Canadian-operated British 
Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The schools established in accordance 
with the plan, which had been agreed upon in December 1939 by the gov- 
ernments of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand as a result of proposals 
advanced from London in September 1939, began operation in June 1940. 
A large proportion of the Americans joining the Canadian forces before 
Pearl Harbor passed into the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan 
either as students or as instructors. 33 

55 See above, |pp. 241—427] 



United States entry into the war threatened to disrupt the Air Training 
Plan. Not only did many U.S. instructors indicate a desire to transfer to the 
U.S. armed forces, but also it appeared likely that the flow of U.S. recruits 
into the system would dry up at a time when the plan had been budgeted 
for on the basis of an increasing flow of U.S. recruits. As early as 8 Decem- 
ber informal suggestions were advanced through displomatic channels that 
perhaps Canada could, in consequence, lend some of the excess training 
plant to the United States, which could operate some of its training centers 
at such Canadian installations. 34 

The general proposition was discussed on 20 December by the Permanent 
Joint Board, which adopted the recommendation (the Twenty-third) that 
the two countries should consider a U.S.-United Kingdom-Canadian meet- 
ing to study co-ordination of the training programs being conducted in 
North America. The recommendation was approved by both governments, 
but it received only desultory consideration by the U.S. military officers 
during the ensuing months. 35 

In April 1942 Prime Minister King discussed the project with President 
Roosevelt in Washington and the two announced on 17 April that, at King's 
invitation, a conference would be held in Ottawa in early May of those 
Allied nations that had air training programs under way in North America. 36 
As conference plans moved forward, the War Department became concerned 
at the scope of the agenda suggested by Canada, feeling that subjects such as 
the allocation of U.S.-made training aircraft were outside the competence of 
the conference. In addition, discussion of subjects such as exchange of air 
crews between nations and the training of members of the AAF in Air 
Training Plan schools was precluded by the fact that the War Department, 
principally at the instance of the Army Air Forces, was firmly opposed to 
such measures. In the War Department view, the solution to the problem 
of British Commonwealth Air Training Plan surplus capacity was to con- 
centrate under the plan such training of British Commonwealth air crews 
as was being done elsewhere, as for example in the United States. 37 On the 
Canadian side, King was disappointed that the U.S. delegation would include 
only service representatives. Apparently through his intercession with 
Roosevelt, the composition of the U.S. delegation was changed on the eve 
of its departure so that it was headed, not by Lt. Gen. Henry H. Arnold, as 

34 Memo/Conv, Moffat and Robertson, 8 Dec 41, Moffat Diary. 

" Text at Appendix A, below. The status of action was discussed at the February and 8 
April 1942 PJBD meetings. 

36 Department of State Bulletin, April 18, 1942, VI, 336-37. 

37 Ott Leg Telg 64, to Department of State, 22 Apr 42, and Ltr, SW to Secy State, 13 May 
42, both in PDB 119-6. 



had been planned, but by Assistant Secretary of War for Air Robert 
A. Lovett. 38 

The conference took place in Ottawa from 19 to 22 May 1942, with rep- 
resentatives of fourteen nations present. In an initial speech, Lovett 
transmitted a glowing tribute from President Roosevelt, in which he had 
called Canada the "Airdrome of Democracy." The U.S. delegation never- 
theless stood fast in its position against commitments for co-ordinated 
exchange of training capacity. As its final action, the conference recom- 
mended establishment of a Combined Committee on Air Training in North 
America. This committee was to have advisory functions only and con- 
cern itself with problems such as the standardization of training methods 
and most effective use of the air training capacity in North America. 39 

Arrangements for formation of the committee moved slowly. The 
United States advised Canada of the names of its members in September, 
but by 1 April 1943 a meeting had not yet taken place. Some discussions 
did take place within the framework of the committee later in 1943, but 
these had only minor significance. On the original proposal that the United 
States utilize Air Training Plan capacity, the War Department position in 
opposition prevailed. 40 

Except in Alaska and in northeastern United States where the Royal Ca- 
nadian Navy made use of naval facilities, the Canadian services had only a 
limited need for use of U.S. installations. When Canadian requests for use 
of U.S. facilities were made, the United States was able, at least in small 
measure, to reciprocate for Canadian assistance. In the fall of 1943 the 
RCAF requested the authority to station a five-man detachment at Milli- 
nocket, Maine, and the use of hangar facilities there to assist in handling 
Canadian service traffic across northern Maine. Instead of constructing a 
new hangar that would have been needed at Millinocket, the United States 
provided the needed facilities at nearby Houlton. Similarly, during. the 
summer of 1944, the United States readily granted approval to RCAF training 
operations at the air base at Bellingham, Washington, under an arrange- 
ment that did not involve the provision of any services to the RCAF at the 
inactive air base. 

Internal security of U.S. activities in Canada posed a number of prob- 
lems that were readily solved through the co-operation of the Canadian au- 

58 Memo/Conv, Moffat and Robercson, 11 May 42, Moffat Diary; WD Press Release, 18 
May 42. 

39 Ottawa Air Training Conference, May 1942, Report of the Conference (Ottawa: E. Cloutier, 
King's Printer, 1942), pp. 13, 24-25. 

40 Ott Leg Desp 4306, to Secy State, 1 Apr 43, D/S 800.248/55, and Desp 384, 30 Nov 
43, D/S 800.248/64. 



thorities. In Canada, as well as in the United States, an evacuation of west 
coast Japanese took place after Pearl Harbor. Beginning in the spring of 
1942 U.S. authorities raised the question of the security of the Canadian Na- 
tional Railways, along which internee camps were located at a number of 
points. To minimize the threat of sabotage, Canada closed certain of the 
camps and took additional police measures at others. 

Another security problem arose after the construction of the air base at 
Churchill was initiated as a restricted project. The United States proposed 
that, in view of the isolated character of the site and of its military activities, 
travel thereto should be restricted to official purposes. In April 1943 the 
Canadian authorities acceded to this request and declared the area along the 
railroad from The Pas to Churchill to be a "controlled area," to which the 
provisions of the Defense of Canada Regulation 5 applied. At almost the 
same time, Canada offered to designate all premises in Canada occupied by 
the U.S. armed services "protected places," thereby excluding unauthorized 
persons, and it did so upon acceptance of the offer. 41 

A significant U.S. wartime contribution toward the development of the 
potentialities of northern Canada was the charting of the area by the AAF. 
The larger part of that area had not previously been photographed aerially, 
and maps and charts were incomplete and inaccurate. During the summer 
of 1943 extensive aerial photography projects were executed by AAF aircraft 
operating from Churchill and Fort Chimo in the east, and Fort McMurray 
and Norman Wells in the west. The United States shared with Canada the 
photographs and data obtained. 

One of the most spectacular instances of Canadian-U.S. co-operation was 
the rescue of the personnel of the Hudson's Bay Company post at Fort Ross, 
Somerset Island. Since the RMS Nascopie had been unable to resupply the 
post for two navigation seasons, it was decided in October 1943 to try to 
evacuate the personnel by air. The RCAF could not supply an aircraft for 
the purpose since all suitable aircraft were occupied with urgent patrol work 
in the Atlantic. The AAF volunteered to provide an aircraft. On 13 No- 
vember the rescue, which had been regarded by many as impossible since 
there was no landing strip, was successfully completed. 

Research and Development 

Participation in the atomic energy development project that produced 
the atomic bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima was perhaps the 
most spectacular, if not the most important, Canadian contribution in the 
field of research and development. But other less spectacular Canadian 

41 Canadian War Orders and Regulations, II (1943), 184. 



scientific contributions to the Allied military effort in World War II also 
represented substantial Canadian accomplishments. 42 

Canadian-U.S. scientific collaboration was a by-product of a visit to North 
America, at the suggestion of the United Kingdom, of the British Scientific 
Mission headed by Sir Henry Tizard in August and September 1940. As a 
result of the Tizard Mission's visit, the United States, though still a neutral, 
obtained access to British development work in certain fields such as radar 
that had far outstripped U.S. research. In return, the United Kingdom 
gained benefits from the further refinement and production of the new ma- 
teriel types in the greater engineering and production facilities of the United 
States. The fruits of further research by U.S. scientists also became available 
to the United Kingdom. Canada had provided three members (Brigadier 
Kenneth Stuart, Air Commodore E. W. Stedman, and Dr. C. J. Mackenzie) 
of the Tizard Mission, and through this membership was drawn into the tri- 
partite scientific co-operation that resulted. Included in the data brought 
to the United States by the British scientists was full information on ad- 
vanced radar developments, and, during the mission's visit, programs of fur- 
ther research in the radar and other fields were laid out and responsibilities 
were allocated to each country. 43 

An urgent need existed for an effective radar in the microwave length 
band, for only in this band could equipment be made sufficiently small to 
be readily portable either by aircraft or by motor truck. In October 1940 
the Canadian National Research Council began work on a microwave fire 
direction radar, the GL (gun-laying) Mark III C, and the following month 
U.S. microwave research began at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Radiation Laboratory. A staff of six Canadians worked there, and a full ex- 
change of information was maintained between the two projects. By June 
1941 the joint effort had resulted in a successful demonstration of the com- 
plete GL Mark III C equipment. Canada produced five sets during the rest 
of 1941, the third of which was furnished to the U.S. Army at its request. 
Canada then proceeded to mass produce this set, the first of its type to get 
into large-scale production. Concurrently, the United States developed a 
similar set, the SCR-584. Both sets incorporated research and design ad- 
vances worked out in both countries. 

42 Eggleston, Scientists at War, gives a full and authoritative account of co-operation on these 

43 For further details on radar development, see two volumes in the series UNITED STATES 
ARMY IN WORLD WAR II, Dulany Terrett, The Signal Corps: The Emergency (Washington: 
Government Printing Office, 1956), and George Raynor Thompson, Dixie R. Harris, Pauline 
Oakes, and Dulany Terrett, The Signal Corps: The Test (Washington: Government Printing 
Office, 1957). 



In 1942 other advantages in the use of microwave radar induced Canada 
and the United States to turn to these wave lengths for development of fixed 
early warning aircraft detection sets. Here, too, close collaboration between 
the staffs of the two countries by the spring of 1943 had produced a MEW 
(microwave early warning) radar set of excellent performance. In the field 
of airborne radar, Canada led the United States. The first radar set mass 
produced in Canada had been the ASVC (air-to-surface-vessel, Canadian), 
based on a British prototype. The set was in mass production by the early 
summer of 1941, and some of the early sets were furnished to the United 
States for use as models by U.S. manufacturers. The U.S. Army SCR-521 
was a close copy of this Canadian set. 

Canadians also had a part in the research, engineering, and production of 
the radio proximity fuze. In its development the Carnegie Institute in 
Washington, D. C, and the Toronto Group, which attacked the problem 
in September 1940, maintained close co-ordination. Many features of the 
fuze represented the integration of the best ideas developed in both Canada 
and the United States. A particular Canadian contribution was the wet bat- 
tery idea, in which the electrolytic liquid was contained in an ampoule that 
broke when the shell was fired, thus completing a live, charged-battery power 
source, yet one that presented no problem as to self-life during storage. 

Another significant contribution Canada made to wartime research was in 
connection with the military explosive RDX, which has up to twice the 
power of TNT. The explosive had been known since 1899, but despite its 
attractive features it had not been used for military purposes because of the 
high cost of production and other disadvantages. Canada undertook to over- 
come these disadvantages in the spring of 1940 and soon discovered a new 
process for producing RDX, which proved to be not fully satisfactory. After 
the Tizard Mission visited North America, a tripartite RDX Committee was 
established, and the Canadian data was shared with the U.S. scientists who 
went to work on the project. As a result of the closest possible collabora- 
tion in this committee, a new production process was developed which em- 
braced important contributions of both Canadian and U.S. personnel. Large- 
scale production of RDX was first initiated in Canada in July 1942. 44 

While the research and devolpment work of Canadian scientists during 
World War II in other fields was important, it was overshadowed by the 
significance of Canadian research in the field of atomic energy. When the 
European war began in September 1939, a few Canadian scientists were en- 

44 The United States and Canada later agreed by an exchange of notes to the mutual inter- 
change of patent rights in connection with RDX and other explosives that had been jointly 
developed during the war. (TIAS, 1628; CTS, 1946, No. 51.) 



gaged in nuclear research in furtherance of the discoveries of Fermi and 
others relating to the fission of the uranium atom. During 1940 experi- 
ments at Ottawa, under sponsorship of the National Research Council, pro- 
duced encouraging progress toward a chain reaction. By the following year, 
informal exchanges of technical information on these experiments had taken 
place with U.S. scientists. ^ On 2 December 1942 the U.S. experiments at 
the University of Chicago produced the first chain reaction, or self-sustaining 
pile. As a result of this success, the United States embarked on a full-scale 
effort to produce the atomic bomb. During these same months in 1942, the 
Canadian effort also expanded. 

With research efforts in the United Kingdom oriented to meet more im- 
mediate operational needs and British laboratories threatened with destruc- 
tion from aerial bombardment, the British Government proposed to the Ca- 
nadian Government the establishment of a joint atomic energy research 
project in Canada. The joint effort got under way in September 1942, when 
a group of British scientists arrived in Montreal. The joint group, financed 
largely by Canada and administered by the Canadian National Research 
Council, proceeded with work on a heavy-water pile. United States research 
was, largely utilizing the graphite types. 

One factor alone assured Canada a place of importance in the develop- 
ment of atomic energy. In 1930 a large deposit of radium and uranium ores 
had been discovered on the shores of Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Ter- 
ritories. Important in prewar years as a source of radium, the mine had 
come to rank in production second only to the source in the Belgian Congo. 
However, market conditions had forced the mine to close in June 1940. In 
January 1942 the Canadian Government sought market assurances from the 
United States as a means of improving the financial condition of the owning 
company so that it could resume operations. Failure to reopen the mine 
during the spring of 1942 might have resulted in its permanent impairment 
because of ground water conditions, and this eventuality nearly materialized, 
for the Canadian inquiry elicited only a noncommittal reply. Fortunately, 
the progress of intensified experimentation in the atomic field soon created 
a substantial demand for uranium ore, and in August 1942 the mine was re- 
opened. The Great Bear Lake mine soon became a critical element in the 
entire atomic energy development project. 46 

45 For a fuller account of the Canadian role in the development of the atomic bomb, see 
Eggleston, Scientists at War, especially Chapter V. The most authoritative account of the Ameri- 
can effort in this field is H. G. Smyth, Atomic Energy for Military Purposes (Princeton: Princeton 
University Press, 1945). 

46 Memo, Cdn Leg to Department of State, 19 Jan 42; Reply, 28 Jan 42, both in D/S 
842.6344/4. Stimson and Bundy, On Active Service, p. 614. 



By mid-1943 it became evident that the various atomic research programs, 
in the interest of economy of effort, needed to be co-ordinated more closely. 
As a result of informal discussions during the First Quebec Conference 
(August 1943), President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill established 
a Combined Policy Committee, on which they invited Prime Minister King 
to provide Canadian representation. The committee— Secretary of War 
Henry L. Stimson, Dr. Vannevar Bush, and Dr. James B. Conant, for the 
United States; Field Marshal Sir John Dill and Colonel J. J. Llewellin, for 
the United Kingdom; and Minister of Munitions and Supply C. D. Howe, 
for Canada— was charged with the broad direction of the programs as be- 
tween the countries. A technical committee comprising Maj. Gen. L. R. 
Groves (United States), Sir James Chadwick (United Kingdom), and Dr. 
C. J. Mackenzie (Canada) was also set up to co-ordinate and correlate the 
policy decisions and the joint programs. 47 

The importance of the uranium ores at Great Bear Lake was by then fully 
apparent. In January 1944 the Canadian Government therefore expropriated 
the stock shares of the company, which was renamed Eldorado Mining and 
Refining Limited, and began operating it as a crown company. In the fol- 
lowing months the shaft was enlarged and deepened and the plant expanded 
to a capacity of one hundred tons of ore per day. This vital ore source, 
which was operated on a twenty-four-hour basis, continued to be second in 
importance only to the Belgian Congo among sources available to the United 
States and Great Britain. The Combined Policy Committee allocated the 
ore produced. 48 

By the beginning of 1944 an apportionment of research effort had been 
made that assigned the heavy-water moderator project to Canada. A site 
was chosen near Chalk River, Ontario, and the construction of the facility, 
whose cost together with other costs of the project was to be borne by 
Canada, moved ahead quickly. Experimentation at Chalk River also pro- 
gressed rapidly, even while the new laboratories were being completed and 
the transfer from Montreal was taking place. On 5 September 1945, the 
Canadian experimental pile was put into operation, the first pile outside of 
the United States to produce atomic energy. Despite the close tripartite co- 
operation in atomic research and development, Canada made no attempt to 

47 H. C. Debates, 17 Dec 45, p. 3633. 

48 Privy Council 535, 27 Jan 44; H. C. Debates, 3 Jun 46, pp. 2106, 2125. Canada con- 
sulted the United States as to the desirability of obtaining control of the mines as early as June 
1942 and received President Roosevelt's encouragement. (Roosevelt Papers, Secy's Safe File, 
Dr. V. Bush Folder.) For an account of operations at the uranium mines and of their role in 
the atom bomb project, see Kennedy, History of the Department of Munitions and Supply, Ch. 25. 



manufacture the atomic bomb, nor did it seek the necessary information to 
do so. 49 

When hostilities ended, the three partners in atomic development col- 
laborated in a proposal for international action to prevent the use of atomic 
energy for destructive purposes. Meeting in Washington on 15 November 
1945, President Harry S. Truman and Prime Ministers King and Clement 
Attlee signed an agreed declaration advancing this proposal and the offer to 
share information concerning the practical applications of atomic energy as 
soon as effective safeguards against its use for destructive purposes had been 
established. 50 Tripartite co-operation was not to continue on any significant 
scale, however, for the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 enacted by the U.S. Con- 
gress necessitated the elimination of Canadian and British participation in 
the U.S. project except in limited areas of technical co-operation. 51 

The Canadian undertaking in the atomic energy field involved, up to the 
time of completion of the Chalk River Project, expenditures of approxi- 
mately $27 million. By comparison with those of the United States in de- 
veloping the atomic bomb, these Canadian expenditures were modest. But 
they did produce important results in the heavy-water moderator project, 
which in turn became the springboard for significant advances in the uni- 
lateral Canadian research program initiated in the postwar years. 

Arsenals of Democracy 

Although the full story of the achievements and contributions to victory 
of the two countries in the field of munitions production would require a 
volume in itself, this account would not be complete unless it took brief 
notice of them. When President Roosevelt on 29 December 1940 labeled 
the United States an "Arsenal of Democracy," he originated a term that was 
equally applicable to Canada, whose war production record was all the more 
remarkable in the light of the industrial base from which it developed. 52 
From the mighty arsenals of Canada and the United States poured forth a 
stream of munitions that supplied Allied forces on seas and battlegrounds 

49 Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, 81st Congress, 1st Session, Hearings, Investigation 
Into United States Atomic Energy Project, July 6, 1949, Pt. 19, p. 792; H. C. Debates, 14 Jun 46, 
p. 2490. 

"TIAS, 1504; CTS, 1945, No. 13. 

51 PL 585, 79th Congress. 

52 For full official accounts of these production accomplishments, see Canada, Department of 
Munitions and Supply, The Industrial Front (Ottawa: E. Cloutier, King's Printer, 1944), U.S. 
War Production Board, Industrial Mobilization for War, I, Program and Administration (Wash- 
ington: Government Printing Office, 1947), and H. Duncan Hall. North American Supply 
(History of the Second World War: United Kingdom Civil Series [London: Her Majesty's Stationery 
Office, 1955]). 


Table 3 — Combined Canadian-United States Production of Selected 
Munitions: 1 July 1940-31 August 1945 

[Unit-each, or as designated] 







Airplanes, military types,. 

307, 483 

291, 619 



Combat,. . . 

205, 581 

200, 026 

5, 555 



64, 061 

54, 773 

y, zoo 

2, 850 

Cargo and liaison _ 

37, 841 

36, 820 



Patrol vessels. .. 

I, 4oo 

n O 1 CO 

° I, 158 



Mine craft 





Landing vessels, 750 tons and over. _. 




Ocean-going cargo and supply vessels.. . _ 

5, 504 

•5, 113 


Artillery, field, tank and self-propelled . __ 

223, 897 

207, 988 



Artillery, antiaircraft (Army) 



13, 502 


Mortars and bomb throwers.. ... 

186, 234 


74, 988 

46, 567 

Small arms (thousands) .... 

21, 808 

20, 188 



Ammunition, ground artillery (thousands) . 

360, 696 

324, 897 


10, 259 

Ammunition, mortar and bomb thrower (thousands). 



12, 624 


Ammunition, small arms (millions) 

46, 140 

41, 746 



Tanks and tank chassis .... 


103, 226 


Scout cars and carriers .. .. 


89, 072 

43, 344 

6, 783 

Military trucks, all types (thousands) . 


2, 472 


° Includes conversions; 147 patrol vessels, 104 mine craft, and 349 cargo vessels. 

Source: U.S. Civilian Production Administration, Official Munitions Production of ike United States (Washington, 1947). 
This report contains a combined U.S.-Canadian supplement. 

the world over. The quantities of military items produced, as shown in 
Table 3, are enough to challenge the imagination. 

To reach that level of achievement, Canada and the United States were 
required to carry out extensive expansion of plant and production capacity. 
In Canada this expansion was proportionately greater than in the United 
States and was achieved through the assistance of the United States. The 
fall of France marked the beginning of the real acceleration of munitions 
production on both sides of the border. The Canadian production effort was 
initially severely limited by the available production capacity, and in order 
to expand capacity there was a critical need for machine tools. Although a 
large world-wide demand existed, Canada was able to make substantial pur- 
chases of machine tools in the United States. Without these tools the ex- 
pansion of Canadian military production that occurred would not have been 
possible. Even when U.S. export of machine tools was made subject to 



licensing by the Act of Congress of 2 July 1940, Canada was still able to ob- 
tain the tools it needed without encountering any difficulties." The Cana- 
dian production effort also received assistance in other ways, one of which 
was that U.S. companies having Canadian branches provided the technical 
experts needed to assist in Canadian expansion. 54 

While Canada and the United States had taken preliminary steps to assist 
each other in 1940, the real basis for production co-operation was established 
at Hyde Park on 20 April 1941 by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister 
King. King and other Canadian officials had earlier been unsuccessfully 
exploring with U.S. officers in Washington ways and means of meeting the 
increasing demands for U.S. dollars of Canada's growing production program. 
By the spring of 1941 these demands had reduced the Canadian holdings of 
U.S. dollar exchange to dangerously low levels. Just three days after an in- 
conclusive discussion of the problem with Secretary of State Hull, King 
found the opportunity to present it to the President during a vist to Hyde 
Park. The two agreed to an arrangement which the President named the 
Hyde Park Declaration. 55 

The basic purpose of the Hyde Park Declaration was to make it possible 
for Canada to obtain the U.S. dollar exchange it needed to permit essential 
purchases from the United States. This was to be accomplished by co- 
ordinating the production programs of the two countries so that Canada 
would manufacture, and sell to the United States, the munitions and mate- 
rials that the Canadian economy was in a better position to supply. This 
arrangement would permit the United States to delete such items from its 
production program and to meet its needs through purchases from Canada. 
In order to facilitate the execution of the co-ordinated program, the United 
States granted to Canada equal priorities in the assignment of scarce machine 
tools, raw materials, and shipping allocations. 56 

55 Dawson, Canada in World Affairs: 1939-1941, pp. 34, 61, 246. 

54 The Canadian Geographical Journal, Vols. XXIV and XXV, contains excellent and authori- 
tative accounts of the development of various of the munitions industries. 

" Ltr, King to Roosevelt, 24 Apr 41, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's file, Box 74; Memo/Conv, 
Hull and K ing, 17 Apr 41, D/S 842.24/110. Full text of the declaration is contained in 
lAppendix D,| below. 

King rendered an interesting account of the meeting and the formulation of the declaration 
to the U.S. Charge d'Affaires, Lewis Clark. King said that during his pleasant visit the two 
were driving around the Hyde Park estate. Suddenly King remembered a memorandum his 
financial people had given him, pulled it out of his pocket, and showed it to the President. 
The President read it and declared that he could agree to it without difficulty. King insisted 
that he had been taught from childhood that papers involving money should be signed, upon 
which the President took the memorandum and scribbled on it: "Signed, Franklin and Mackenzie.'' 
(Ltr, Lewis Clark to author, 15 Oct 42.) For another version of the meeting, see Bruce Hutchin- 
son, The Incredible Canadian (Toronto: Longmans, Green and Company, 1952), pp. 288-89. 

56 Dawson, Canada in World Affairs: 1939- 1941, passim. See also James' full account of 
Wartime Economic Co-operation. 



The dollar exchange objectives of the Hyde Park arrangement were 
easily achieved. Under the agreement, the United States proceeded to place 
production orders in Canada in the amounts necessary to cover the Cana- 
dian exchange needs. These orders allowed the growing Canadian demands 
for imports from the United States adequately to be met. The Canadian 
exchange situation was further improved by a provision of the Hyde Park 
Declaration that permitted Great Britain to obtain, under lend-lease proce- 
dures, component parts the Canadians had theretofore been purchasing in 
the United States for assembly into equipment being produced in Canada for 
Great Britain. 

The arrangement served its intended purpose perfectly, and, by the end 
of 1942, new and unexpected sources were supplying U.S. dollar exchange 
well in excess of Canadian needs. A great expansion of exports, together 
with large U.S. capital expenditures in Canada, accounted for the unexpected 
accumulations. In fact, within two years the influx of U.S. dollars into 
Canada had become so great that it became necessary to put into effect an 
arrangement to control the size of Canadian holdings of U.S. dollars. 57 

The sale of Canadian-produced materiel to the United States was handled 
by a crown company, War Supplies, Limited, established on 13 May 194l to 
negotiate and receive the U.S. orders expected under the Hyde Park Declara- 
tion and to place them in Canada. This company immediately undertook 
an intensive selling campaign in the War, Navy, and Treasury Departments, 
War Shipping Administration, Metals Reserve Corporation, and other U.S. 
agencies. In less than three months, contracts totaling approximately $200 
million had been obtained. Initially, purchases were made of types of ma- 
teriel suitable for transfer to the United Kingdom under the U.S. lend-lease 
program, but after Pearl Harbor large orders were placed for types of equip- 
ment used by the United States. 58 

By 31 March 1946 Canadian cash receipts from U.S. purchases of Cana- 
dian materiel under the program amounted to $1,118 million. In addition, 
over $100 million in orders had been canceled in 1943 as a means of reduc- 
ing Canadian accumulations of U.S. dollars, and $200 million in contracts 
had been terminated after V-J Day. The most serious and most criticized 

"See lCh. XlH below. The U.S. dollar expenditure goals of the Hyde Park Declaration 
were easily achieved. The volume of sales in each of the years from 1942 to 1944, inclusive, 
was respectively $275, $301, and $314 million. Canada, Foreign Exchange Control Board, Re- 
port to the Minister of Finance, March 1946 (Ottawa: E. Cloutier, King's Printer, 1946), P- 26. 
F. A. Knox, in "Canada's Balance of International Payments, 1940-45," Canadian Journal of 
Economics and Political Science, XIII (August 1947), 345-62. 

59 This and the following paragraphs are based on Kennedy, History of the Department of 
Munitions and Supply, Ch. 42. For Canadian use of Lend-Lease Act procedures under this 
program, see James, Wartime Economic Co-operation, pp. 31-42. 


Table 4 — United States Lend-Lease Aid: 11 March 1941-31 December 


(Thousands of U.S. dollars) 

Total charged to foreign governments 348, 900, 118 

Not distributed by foreign governments 1, 308, 283 

Gross lend-lease aid « SO, 208, 401 

Reverse lend-lease aid b ... 7, 819, 323 

Net lend-lease aid 42, 389, 078 

American Republics 493,026 

Belgium 156, 255 

British Empire ' 31, 610, 813 

China ... 1,602,249 

Czechoslovakia 435 

Denmark 4,061 

Egypt 2,323 

Ethiopia 5, 152 

France. 3,269,936 

Greece 81, 424 

Iceland 4,497 

Iran 5, 304 

Iraq 891 

Italy 186, 372 

Liberia ... 19,423 

Netherlands , 246,369 

Norway 47, 023 

Poland 12,452 

Saudi Arabia 22,670 

Turkey 42,850 

USSR 11,054,404 

Yugoslavia 32,189 

• Of this total, $2,343,871,637 of aid was provided during the period 2 September 1945 through 31 December 19S5. 
6 The principal contributions, in thousands of dollars, were Belgium $191,216, British Commonwealth $6,752,073, and 
France $867,781. 

e This term is apparently intended to embrace those Commonwealth nations that were aid recipienis. Canada was 
the notable exception. 

Source: Twenty-seventh Report to Congress on Lend-Lease Operations (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1956). 

aspect of the program was the repeated Canadian failure to meet delivery 
schedules. After the enactment of U.S. contract renegotiation legislation, 
Canada and the United States agreed on profits to be allowed under the U.S. 
contracts. United States contracts let to Canadian Government agencies 
provided for no profit, although amortization of government-owned facilities 
was allowed at a maximum rate of 25 percent annually. Contracts let to 
private corporations allowed a profit of 10 percent of cost. 

The United States from its war production supplied arms to certain na- 
tions through the Lend-Lease Act of 11 March 1941, which provided the 
authority for ultimate delivery of a net of over $40 billion of munitions and 
services to countries throughout the world. (Table 4) Canada was a 



Table 5 — Canadian Mutual Aid Board Expenditures 

(Thousands of Canadian dollars) 






lotal expenditures 

4771 Q7ft 

4Q_l . ._l . 

«7._. Q17 
P 1 oo, yli 

Administrative costs 





UNRRA administered by Canadian Mu- 

tual Aid Board 



Total mutual aid ° _____ _ __ 

2, 471,212 


932, 397 

766, 862 



20, 958 

54, 460 


British West Indies 



3, 883 



39, 742 


17, 403 

18, 802 

France _ __ __ 

25, 105 



Greece.- _ _ 



India _ __ _ 

14, 826 


14, 431 

87 cr 

New Zealand _ _ 


7, 826 

7, 453 

United Kingdom _ __ _ _ 


722, 821 

719, 239 



167, 255 



46, 370 

° These figures include supplies that were not delivered because of the cessation of hostilities and that were later declared 

Source: Canadian Mutual Aid Board, Final Rtport, 1946 (Ottawa: E. Cloutier, King's Printer, 1947), p. 9. 

notable exception from the list of recipient countries. It felt that as a nation 
in a favored position, free from the ravages of war, it should meet its own 
needs and indeed share with the United States in aiding the les's fortunate of 
the Allies.^ 9 

In line with this policy, Canada adopted a similar program of aid to the 
Allies. Throughout 1941 and part of 1942, Canadian help initially took 
the form of loans and other measures which provided the United Kingdom 
with Canadian exchange in the amount of $1,700 million needed to pay for 
the munitions the British were procuring from Canada. During 1942 
Canada made an outright grant of one billion dollars to the United King- 
dom, raising to a total of $2,700 million the Canadian exchange made avail- 
able to the British. A stream of Canadian supplies, financed by these funds, 
flowed to the British Commonwealth nations and the USSR through the 
distribution machinery operated by the United Kingdom. 

On 20 May 1943 the "War Appropriation (United Nations Mutual Aid) 
Act, 1943" was approved and became effective. Under the Mutual Aid Act, 
Canada proceeded to make arrangements directly with the ultimate recipients 
of Canadian aid and took the decisions as to what supplies would be pro- 
vided the countries on the basis of their aid requests. Under the provisions 

™ PL 11, 77th Congress; H. C. Debates, 2 Apr 44, p. 2227. 



Table 6 — Canada's War Production During the Mutual Aid Period: 
1 September 1943-1 Septembir 1945 
(Millions of Canadian dollars) 

Munitions Production 

Mutual Aid as 

Major Item Group 

Percent of 

Total Canada 

Mutual Aid 




34, 642 

$2, 636 










Transportation equipment _ _ 




Ordnance.. .. .... ... 




Ammunition, chemicals, and explosives 




Communications .... 




General supplies ... _ 




• Of this figure, 38 percent was financed by mutual aid, and 19 percent was purchased for cash by the United Kingdom. 
The remaining 43 percent was divided between Canada's own armed services (29 percent) and purchases by the United 
States (14 percent). 

Source: Canadian Mutual Aid Board, Final Report, 1946, p. 16. 

of this act and subsequent appropriations, Canada granted additional aid 
totaling $2,482 million (Canadian) to the Allies during World War II. 
Viable 3 J Aid provided under the Canadian Mutual Aid Act differed from 
lend-lease aid in that, as a general rule, the former was not subject to ar- 
rangements for repayment or redelivery. Canada did retain title to the ships 
it provided. The bulk of U.S. lend-lease aid was also, under the final set- 
tlements, provided on a grant basis. 60 

Of particular interest is the fact that, during the period Canada was fur- 
nishing assistance under the Mutual Aid Act, only 29 percent of Canadian 
war production went to meet Canadian needs. As Table 6 indicates, 57 
percent went to mutual aid countries; the remaining 14 percent was pur- 
chased by the United States. The relationship of the total aid expenditures 
of the two countries to the total military cost of World War II is also 
interesting. Canada's total war aid, including mutual aid and the billion- 
dollar grant to the United Kingdom, amounted to $3,482 million as com- 
pared with the estimated total military cost of World War II to Canada of 
$15,580 million. For the United States, the net lend-lease aid, excluding 
reverse lend-lease, amounted to $42,389 million, while the total military 
cost of World War II to the United States was estimated at $330,030 million. 
It is apparent that Canada like the United States made contributions to Allied 
victory generally proportionate to its national capabilities. 

60 For a complete account of Canadian aid arrangements, see Canadian Mutual Aid Board, 
Final Report, 1946 (Ottawa: E. Cloutier, King's Printer, 1947). 


Problems in Jurisdiction 

The deployment of large numbers of U.S. troops and associated civilians 
to Canada during World War II inevitably gave rise to many complex prob- 
lems vis-a-vis Canadian authorities and the general public. The fact that 
the areas in which the U.S. personnel operated were never seriously threat- 
ened by hostile action added to the complexity of the problems. Had a 
real threat existed, it would probably have inspired a will to co-operate that 
would have caused many of the issues which arose to pale into insignificance. 
The U.S. forces stationed in Canada understandably considered themselves a 
cog, however remote from the combat zones, in the machine created to fight 
the enemy. Many Canadians, also understandably, took the view that, since 
the major combat zones were remote and hostilities were not taking place 
in Canada, the situation did not call for cessions of Canadian sovereignty or 
grants of limitless rights and privileges to the U.S. forces. 

Canadian attitudes were conditioned by the history of relations with the 
United States. From 1776 to 1871 Canadians were threatened with annexa- 
tion, particularly in two actual wars and two long periods of filibustering, 
and thereafter were promised this fate at intervals by many Americans in 
responsible positions. Throughout the history of Canadian-U.S. relations 
most Canadians, and especially French Canadians, have also feared and re- 
sisted cultural absorption by the United States. The Canadian Government 
therefore found it necessary, in considering its position on the various prob- 
lems that came up for discussion with the United States during World War 
II, to weigh not only the military needs of the situation but also the force 
of public opinion, the desires of the provincial governments, and the impact 
on the position and strength of the Dominion Government itself. Under 
these circumstances it was a notable achievement that the numberless ques- 
tions bearing on jurisdiction arising during the war years were all worked 
out in a manner acceptable to, if not to the full satisfaction of, both 

Jurisdiction Over Friendly Foreign Forces 

Although the United States deployed troops to Newfoundland a year 
before the Pearl Harbor attack, it did not send U.S. forces into Canada in 



significant numbers until after that event. While Canada apparently never 
issued a clear-cut invitation for the entry of U.S. troops, such entry took 
place in execution of joint defense projects approved by the Canadian Gov- 
ernment after approaches had been made through the Permanent Joint Board 
on Defense, or through diplomatic or service channels. Although Canadian 
permission may not have been explicitly stated in the correspondence relat- 
ing to projects such as the Northwest Staging Route, the Alaska Highway, 
and the Canol Project, it was implicit in the broader authority granted in 
each instance. By April 1942 the need for an agreement on questions of 
jurisdiction over U.S. troops had been informally discussed within the Per- 
manent Joint Board on Defense. Although the Legal Adviser of the 
Department of External Affairs had recommended such an agreement, the 
Board members did not feel that one was necessary and no action was taken. 1 
Clarification of the jurisdiction to be exercised by U.S. military author- 
ities over their forces in Canada was accomplished by unilateral Canadian 
action. The Canadian Government had on 15 April 1941 issued an order- 
in-council, the Foreign Forces Order, 1941, which provided for limited 
exercise of jurisdiction in Canada by forces of certain designated countries 
and of such other countries as might later be designated. 2 On 26 June 1942 
Canada issued another order-in-council, "as an interim measure," which made 
the provisions of the Foreign Forces Order, 1941, applicable to the United 
States. Before Canada took this step, U.S. service courts, according to the 
Canadian view, had no right to carry their sentences into effect in Canada. 
This order stated that U.S. service courts and authorities were empowered 
to exercise in Canada, in matters concerning discipline and internal admin- 
istration, all such powers as were conferred by the laws of the United States, 
except for the offenses of murder, manslaughter, and rape. However, the 
order also stated that the Canadian civil courts retained concurrent jurisdic- 
tion of offenses committed by U.S. military personnel against any law in 
force in Canada. 3 

Even before this interim step was taken by Canada, the authorities of the 
two countries had discussed the nature of the U.S. wishes in the matter. The 

' Ltr, Hickerson to LaGuardia, 22 Apr 42, PDB 104-22. 

2 Privy Council 2546. 

3 Privy Council 5484. For an account, from the point of view of international law, of the 
handling of jurisdictional questions between the United States and Canada and other states dur- 
ing World War II, see Archibald King, "Further Developments Concerning Jurisdiction Over 
Friendly Foreign Armed Forces," American Journal of International Law, XL (1946) 257-79. 
See also the following articles in the British Year Book of International Law: G. P. Barton, 
"Foreign Armed Forces: Immunity From Supervisory Jurisdiction," XXVI (1949), 380-414, 
and "Foreign Armed Forces: Immunity From Criminal Jurisdiction," XXVII (1950), 186-235; 
and M. E. Bathurst, "Jurisdiction Over Friendly Foreign Armed Forces," XXIII (1946), 338-41. 



United States was then in the process of negotiating an agreement with the 
United Kingdom providing for the exclusive jurisdiction by each country 
over such of its forces as might be stationed in the other. United States 
authorities indicated that they would like a similar agreement with Canada, 
the making of which would have resulted in the abandonment of Canada's 
claim to exclusive jurisdiction of murder, manslaughter, and rape, and to 
concurrent jurisdiction of other offenses. For their part, the Canadian 
authorities in early July 1942 indicated a willingness to negotiate for a new 
agreement along these lines when the U.S.-United Kingdom agreement had 
been concluded. 4 A short time later the agreement with the United King- 
dom was concluded by an exchange of notes dated 27 July 1942, and on 
6 August the British Parliament enacted the United States of America 
(Visiting Forces) Act, 1942, to give effect to the agreement. 5 

During the ensuing months the Canadian Government considered a U.S. 
request that Canada, too, grant the United States complete criminal jurisdic- 
tion over its military personnel serving in Canada. By the beginning of 
1943, Canada was contemplating rejecting the request. However, as a result 
of U.S. argument that Canada should be willing to conclude arrangements 
similar to those already effected with other nations in the British Common- 
wealth (Australia and New Zealand, as well as the United Kingdom), joint 
discussions looking toward an acceptable solution were initiated. 6 The 
Canadian Government moved cautiously toward satisfying the U.S. requests, 
for Canadian public opinion was slow to accept the notion of U.S. courts- 
martial sitting on Canadian soil, especially if the offense to be tried was one 
against the person or property of a Canadian. This gave the governments 
of some of the western provinces opportunity to embarrass the Dominion 
Government by attempting to exercise the concurrent jurisdiction claimed 
by Canada over U.S. soldiers. 7 

As a result of the discussions with the U.S. authorities, Canada took two 
steps toward meeting the U.S. requests: 

a. It issued a new order-in-council excepting the United States from 

4 Ltr, Hickerson to SUSAM, 16 Jul 42, PDB 104-22. 

5 The notes are to be found in EAS, 355, and also as addenda to the Act, which is 5&6 
Geo. 6, c. 31. For an account of the development of this agreement and for an examination 
thereof in terms of World War I and other World War II practice, see Archibald King, ' 'Juris- 
diction Over Friendly Foreign Armed Forces," American Journal of International Law, XXXVI 
(1942), 539-67. 

6 Memo/Conv, Hickerson and Pearson, 2 Feb 43, D/S 811.203/252. 

7 For example, in the case of Pvt. William Evans, which aroused public indignation in Dawson 
Creek, the Attorney General of British Columbia issued a warrant for the arrest of Evans, but his 
commanding officer refused to surrender him. (Memo/Conv, Hickerson and Clark, 13 Feb 43, 
PDB 104-22.) 



the provision of the Foreign Forces Order that reserved to Canada jurisdic- 
tion over the offenses of murder, manslaughter, and rape. 8 

b. It sought an advisory opinion from the Supreme Court of Canada 
on two questions that looked toward a more liberal attitude on the part of 

1. Are members of the military or naval forces of the United States of America 
who are present in Canada with the consent of the Government of Canada for purposes 
of military operations in connection with or related to the state of war now exist- 
ing exempt from criminal proceedings prosecuted in Canadian criminal courts and, if so, 
to what extent and in what circumstances? 

2. If the answer to the first question is to the effect that the members of 
the forces of the United States of America are not exempt from criminal proceedings or 
are only in certain circumstances or to a certain extent exempt, had Parliament or the 
Governor General in Council acting under the War Measures Act, jurisdiction to enact 
legislation similar to the statute of the United Kingdom entitled the United States of 
America (Visiting Forces) Act, 1942. y 

The Attorney General of Canada filed a factum (brief) urging that both 
questions be answered in the affirmative. Since the court action was a 
domestic Canadian matter, the United States could not participate as a party 
of interest. However, at the request of the Canadian Government, the U.S. 
officers concerned prepared two unsigned memorandums which examined, 
from the U.S. point of view, the principles of law involved. These memo- 
randums were printed and laid before the court, as were briefs by four of 
the nine provinces (Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia) that 
opposed grants of broader jurisdiction to the United States. 10 

On 3 August 1943 the five justices who considered the case presented 
four separate opinions, none of which represented that of the court. Con- 
cerning the first question, two justices, Kerwin and Taschereau, reached con- 
clusions generally in accord with the U.S. view. The opinion of Chief 
Justice Duff, concurred in by Justice Hudson, concluded that unless specific 
legislation so provided, friendly forces visiting Canada enjoyed no exemption 
from criminal court jurisdiction. The other justice, Rand, took a middle 
position. 11 As to the second question, all the justices agreed that both the 
Parliament and the Governor General in Council, acting under the War 

"Privy Council 2813, 6 Apr 43. 

'The reference to the Supreme Court was made by Privy Council 2931, 9 Apr 43. 

10 The factum and an accompanying case book by the federal Attorney General of Canada 
were published by E. Cloutier, King's Printer, Ottawa, in 1943 under the title "Jurisdiction of 
Canadian Criminal Courts Over Members of the Armed Forces of the United States." Memo/ 
Conv, Clark and R. T. Yingling, 24 Apr 43, D/S 811.203/246-5/6. 

11 The opinions are contained in Reference re Exemption of U.S. Forces From Canadian Criminal 
Law (1943), Canadian S.C.R. 483. For a synthesis of these opinions, see King, "Further De- 
velopments Concerning Jurisdiction Over Friendly Foreign Armed Forces," pp. 272-74. 



Measures Act, had the authority to enact legislation similar to the United 
States of America (Visiting Forces) Act, 1942, enacted in the United 

These court opinions established both an adequate juridical basis and a 
suitable political framework in Canada for the next step. In December 
1943, in response to repeated U.S. inquiries as to when the action might be 
forthcoming, the Governor General in Council issued an order which pro- 
vided that the service courts of the United States would have "jurisdiction 
to try all members of its forces in Canada in respect of every offense com- 
mitted by any of its members in Canada." This order met in full the re- 
quirements for which the U.S. authorities had been negotiating. The order 
also authorized various administrative measures, such as the compulsory at- 
tendance of Canadian witnesses before U.S. courts-martial in Canada, and the 
release, upon request, of a member of the U.S. forces detained by any Cana- 
dian authority. 12 

Certain points not fully clarified by the order-in-council were discussed 
in notes exchanged during the ensuing months. In the first of these notes, 
the Canadian Government stated its assumption that any persons surrendered 
to the United States by Canadian authorities would be tried. The United 
States in reply took the position that such persons would be brought to trial 
only if investigation warranted. However, in the event of a negative find- 
ing, the United States agreed to confer with Canadian authorities and to 
proceed with a trial if they considered one necessary. Other similar ques- 
tions were harmoniously and satisfactorily worked out. 13 

To the full extent permitted by its system of government, the United 
States granted to Canada the privileges the Dominion had conferred upon 
the United States. The United States considered the basic privileges already 
to be available to Canada without agreement or legislative or other action, 
since Canadian forces, in the U.S. view, possessed such privileges under in- 
ternational law, which was deemed to be a part of the law of the United 
States. Apart from the basic privileges of exclusion from the local criminal 
jurisdiction, certain auxiliary arrangements necessitated enactment of legisla- 
tion by the Congress. In order to carry out its undertakings to Canada and 
other governments, the executive branch sought and obtained such legisla- 
tion. An act of Congress approved on 30 June 1944 provided that, upon 

,2 Ott Leg Desp 103, to Secy State, 4 Sep 43, D/S 811.203/324; Ltr, Atherton to Hickef- 
son, 5 Oct 43, D/S 811.203/341; Department of State Desp 95, to Oct Leg, 25 Oct 43, D/S 
811.203/341; Privy Council 9694, 20 Dec 43. 

"Department of External Affairs Notes 160 and 26, 27 Dec 43 and 9 Mar 44; U.S. Emb 
Ott Note 95, 10 Feb 44; all in D/S 811.203/392. 



suitable proclamation by the President, arrangements as follows could be 
effected with designated countries: 

a. Arrest and delivery of persons of a foreign force upon request of the 
commanding officer of that force. 

b. Compulsory attendance at courts-martial of friendly forces subject to 
their having the same privileges and immunities as if before a similar U.S. 

c. Confinement of prisoners sentenced by a foreign court in a U.S. 
place of detention. 14 

On 11 October 1944 the President of the United States by proclamation 
made the provisions of the act of Congress applicable to Canada and the 
United Kingdom. 15 

On the whole, the arrangements worked very satisfactorily. In Canada, 
isolated incidents involving Canadian civilians took place in which the 
Canadian public expressed concern as to the adequacy of the punitive action 
taken by the U.S. service courts, but such incidents were lost in the over-all 
pattern of co-operation in handling these problems. In the United States, 
where the proportion of Canadian service personnel was negligible in com- 
parison to U.S. service personnel in Canada, no problem of any significance 
arose regarding jurisdiction over criminal offenses. 

Airway Traffic Control 

As the scope of U.S. activities and the network of U.S. installations in 
Canada and Newfoundland expanded both before and after Pearl Harbor, 
and as the volume of U.S. military air traffic in those areas increased, ques- 
tions quickly arose as to the control of air traffic and airways. In all areas 
there existed the basic need for co-ordinating the systems employed by the 
services of the two countries for the regulation of their traffic. There also 
existed within Canada the fundamental question of sovereignty involving 
the extent, if any, to which control should be yielded to another govern- 
ment or its agencies over Canadian airways and aircraft movements in the 
Canadian airspace. 

The problem first arose in the latter part of 1941 in Newfoundland, 
where not only U.S. and Canadian service aircraft but also those of the Royal 
Air Force operated in connection with Atlantic ferrying operations. By 
December 194l the U.S. Newfoundland base commander, Maj. Gen. Gerald 
C. Brant, had worked out standardized regulations for air traffic control ap- 

14 PL 384, 78th Congress. 

15 Proclamation 2626, 8 FR 12403. 



plicable to U.S. Army Air Forces and U.S. Navy aircraft operating in 
Newfoundland. During December he also submitted proposed regulations 
to control all aircraft movements in the Newfoundland area. 16 During 1942 
the proposal was discussed and reworked by Canadian and U.S. authorities. 
The RCAF desired to include in the proposed agreement a provision requir- 
ing that all aircraft movements be cleared from a central RCAF control 
station. According to the U.S. base commander, such an arrangement was 
unacceptable, not only to U.S. Army and Navy units but also to the RAF 
command in Newfoundland. A protracted controversy took place between 
the Canadian and U.S. Air commanders concerned, who were unable to agree 
on standardized regulations. Members of the Permanent Joint Board on 
Defense discussed the subject briefly in September 1942 and again at their 
meeting in November. As a result of the latter discussion, an informal 
meeting of representatives of the two countries took place in Washington 
on 12 January 1943, but no significant progress materialized from any of 
these discussions and the problem of co-ordinating airway traffic in New- 
foundland and Labrador went, for the time being, unsolved. As a conse- 
quence, the air units of each country continued to use their own procedures. 17 

The problems of co-ordinating or controlling airway traffic and of standard- 
izing communications and other procedures in western Canada were examined 
by the military commands there in early 1943. As a result of U.S.-Cana- 
dian service-level discussions at a meeting on 8 January 1943, a joint agree- 
ment was concluded for the purpose of establishing "procedures, methods 
and communications to be used jointly to provide the best exchange of in- 
formation" on all nights in the area and thus to reduce the number of 
unidentified aircraft in the air defense zones of western Canada and the ad- 
jacent United States. 18 

The procedures governing the movement of aircraft to and from Alaska 
were re-examined and revised at frequent intervals. At scheduled meetings, 
the next two of which were held on 15 April and 23 June 1943, representa- 
tives of the numerous Canadian and U.S. military commands conducting air 
operations met and agreed on the revised techniques and procedures to be 
employed. At the second of these two meetings, at which the agreement 
acquired the title JAN-CAN (for Joint U.S. Army, Navy-Canadian Agree- 

16 Ltr, CG NBC to CG Eastern Theater of Operations, 23 Feb 42, PDB 104-5. 
"Memo, E. W. Hockenberry for SUSAM, 11 Mar 43, PDB 126-6. 

18 Appendixes, to Alaskan Division, Historical Record Report, Nov 42-Dec 43 volume, p. 
325. The agreement, essentially one for co-ordination and standardization, was effected between 
representatives of RCAF Western Air Command; Alaskan Wing, ATC; Western Defense Com- 
mand; and Northwest Sea Frontier. The RCAF had taken over the airway traffic control func- 
tions on this route from the Department of Transport in September 1942. 



ment), the commands represented were the Western Air Command, RCAF, 
and six U.S. commands — Western Defense Command, U.S. Army; Alaskan 
Wing, Air Transport Command, U.S. AAF; Northwest Sea Frontier, U.S. 
Navy; Naval Air Transport Squadrons, West Coast; Alaska Defense Com- 
mand; and Fourth Air Force. 19 Similar meetings took place during the rest 
of 1943, and at the meeting held on 11 November a permanent JAN-CAN 
Committee, comprising a representative of each of the commanders signatory 
to the agreement, was established. The RCAF provided a nonvoting secre- 
tary for the committee, while the U.S. Navy Northwest Sea Frontier pro- 
vided office space and administrative assistance. 

While the foregoing arrangements were being worked out, the postwar 
planners of both countries had apparently begun to look at the relationship 
of the numerous new air bases in northern North America to possible post- 
war civil air transport operations. This relationship and the wartime impetus 
given to transport aviation, particularly intercontinental operations, presaged 
an important Canadian role in international civil aviation. For one thing, 
the great circle air routes from the United States to northern Europe and 
to the Orient passed over Canadian territory. For another, bases such as 
those at Gander in Newfoundland and Goose Bay in Labrador promised to 
be important stations in the network of postwar civil airports for trans- 
oceanic operations. Interest in postwar civil aviation was quickened on the 
southern side of the boundary, too, where statements and press comment on 
the subject gave rise to suspicions in Canada that the United States perhaps 
intended to utilize its wartime position in Canada to its own advantage in 
the field of civil air transport. The United States, in turn, wondered if 
Canada was not thinking of gaining a postwar advantage through the Cana- 
dian air bases and operations in Newfoundland. 20 In any event, the state- 
ment of Prime Minister King in Parliament on 2 April 1943 on the civil 
aviation policy of the Canadian Government acknowledged publicly the 

19 Progress Rpts, at PJBD meetings of 1-2 Apr and 1-14 Jul, PDB 124. 

20 U.S. Leg Ott Telg 28, 17 May 43, D/S 842.00/690; Memo, Parsons to Hickerson, 5 Apr 
43, D/S 840.50/2092; Journal PJBD meeting, 13 Jan 44, PDB 124. See also the exchange of 
correspondence that took place in October 1943 when the State Department first learned of the 
Canada-Newfoundland negotiations, which had been in progress about two years, for a ninety- 
nine-year lease to Canada of Goose Bay air base. (D/S 842.7962/111.) The first compre- 
hensive study on the role of air transportation as a force in national policy had been published 
only a few months earlier and was indicative of, and perhaps even contributed to, the quicken- 
ing interest in the subject. See Oliver J. Lissitzyn, International Air Transport and National 
Policy (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1942). The Canadian Government had by 
the end of 1942 set up an interdepartmental advisory committee on international air transport. 
The United States set up a similar body in January 1943, and some exploratory talks took place 
subsequently between the two groups. 



decision of Canada to act to take full advantage of Canada's strategic location 
and to seek a leading place in postwar civil aviation. 

The completion of the Alaska Highway and the Canol Project provided 
the breathing spell that enabled Canada to clarify the question of control of 
the northern airports and airways constructed and used in collaboration with 
the United States.'' Canada had as its objectives (a) to tegain full control 
over the airways and air traffic on them, (b) to establish controls over oper- 
ations of U.S. civil airlines providing military transport services under con- 
tract to the U.S. Army, and (c) to establish adequate controls over the air 
bases themselves. 2 -' The initial attack on the problem took the form of rais- 
ing from the service level to the governmental level discussions on the 
question of co-ordinating air traffic. 

The joint U.S.-Canadian policy was provided by the Thirty-second Rec- 
ommendation of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense agreed upon at its 
24-25 August 1943 meeting. This recommendation, which was approved 
by the two governments within a month, provided for the allocation of con- 
trol, as between the two countries, of the warti me air bases of joint interest 
in Canada and of the airway traffic through them. Canada was assigned 
control of air traffic through all the airports in norrhwestern Canada except 
for the flight strips of the Alaska Highway and Canol Project, which 
promised to be of little significance to postwar civil aviation except as emer- 
gency fields. In the east, Canada yielded control of the more northern of 
the ferry route bases in Canada, mosr of which also promised to have no 
significant place in postwar civil aviation. The air bases of Newfoundland 
and Labrador were not covered by the recommendation.-* The recom- 
mendation in addition provided that any airway traffic regulations issued 
should be prepared jointly by the using services. 

A joint U.S.-Canadian committee first met in Ottawa on 19 August 1943 
to consider the problems emerging from rhe Thirry-first Recommendation 
and the Thirry-second then under consideration in draft form. This main 
committee met again at Ottawa on three subsequent occasions, in December 
1943 and in April and October 1944, to work out in detail the many ques- 
tions that arose in implementing these two recommendations. 

A Joint Subcommittee for Canadian Ait Traffic Regulations, constituted 

21 H. C Oibatei. 2 Apr 43. pp. 1776-78; The Canada Year Book. 1945, p. 703. 

11 Associated objectives of the Canadian program included the execution of all construction 
on the more important bases bv the Canadian Government, and the acquisition of title or the 
leases to land occupied by official U.S. agencies and installations. They are treated above in 
IChapter Villi See also Alaskan Division. Historical Record Report, Nov 42- Dec 43 volume, 
pp. 2 14-17. 

" [Appendix A.| below. 



by the main committee, met in Washington on 23 September 1943. It pre- 
pared recommendations as to air traffic regulation in Canada, which were 
reviewed and approved by the U.S. agencies concerned. The recommenda- 
tions were then promulgated by Canada in November 1943 in RCAF pub- 
lication CAP 365, entitled "RCAF Regulations for Control of Aircraft 
Movement in Canada." CAP 365 was "intended to provide standard regu- 
lations for the movement and flight of aircraft on routes and airways through 
the Royal Canadian Air Force operational areas in the Dominion of Canada, 
Newfoundland and Labrador, for the purpose of defense. All aircraft which 
. . . received right of entry to any of the concerned countries . . . [were to] 
be subject to and governed by these rules and regulations." The regulations 
were made applicable on the Northwest Staging Route, in Newfoundland 
and Labrador, and in eastern Canada east of a line twenty-five miles west of 
Blissville, New Brunswick, and north of a line twenty-five miles north of 
Quebec City. 24 The over-all flying control plan included (a) airway traffic 
control on designated airways, (b) route traffic control on certain other 
RCAF routes, (c) airport traffic control at all airports, and (d) general super- 
vision of all flying in the operational areas to permit integration of the 
complete traffic pattern. 25 

Canada proceeded to establish the organization required to exercise the 
airway traffic control envisaged in CAP 365. In western Canada, the JAN- 
CAN Agreement and Committee were dissolved as of 29 February 1944. To 
discharge the airway traffic control responsibility on the Northwest Staging 
Route, a new RCAF command, the Northwest Air Command, was estab- 
lished on 1 June 1944 at Edmonton under Air Vice Marshal T. A. Lawrence. 
During 1944 thirty-six RCAF officers undertook a course of training at the 
U.S. Civil Aeronautics Administration School of Airway Traffic Control. As 
materiel and trained personnel became available, airway traffic control cen- 
ters were established at Halifax, Vancouver, Edmonton, Prince George, and 
St. John's. 

On the Northwest Staging Route, the inauguration of airway traffic con- 
trol operations by the RCAF was delayed by the shortage of land-line com- 
munication facilities. The AAF had made a through teletype circuit between 
Edmonton and Whitehorse available to the RCAF, but the circuit was un- 
suitable for this purpose. The U.S. Army agencies in northwest Canada felt 
unable, in the light of their own communications requirements, to release 

24 Privy Council 9792, 24 December 1943, declared those portions of Canada through which 
the Northwest Staging Route passed to be a prohibited area, under the Defense Air Regula- 
tions, 1942, thus subjecting them to military control. 

"Minutes, 15-16 Dec 43 PJBD meeting, PDB 126-10; CAP 365, PDB 126-10. 



additional facilities to the RCAF. As a result of discussions of ways and 
means of meeting the RCAF needs, the U.S. Army at the beginning of 1944 
undertook a $2-million project for the installation of the additional voice 
and teletype circuits and construction of the additional facilities needed by 
the RCAF. Although construction of these additional facilities which the 
RCAF had been urging for many months was to be financed as a War De- 
partment project, the Morgenthau-Ilsley discussions concurrently in progress 
provided that Canada would reimburse the United States for the entire land- 
line project, as well as for other construction in Canada. 26 

By midsummer 1944 the installation of the wire circuits was well ad- 
vanced, but difficulties in procuring certain of the essential signal equipment 
had been encountered. Despite the best efforts of Canadian and U.S. signal 
officers, the equipment had not yet been secured by the spring of 1945. 
Although the RCAF was able to establish full airway traffic controls south 
and west of Edmonton and along the so-called Interior Staging Route in 
British Columbia, and partial controls on the Northwest Staging Route, full 
controls on the latter route were not established after the terminations of 
hostilities. 27 

Similar equipment deficiencies were encountered for airway traffic control 
at Gander and Goose Bay air bases. Upon the assumption by the RCAF 
of airway traffic control in Newfoundland, the AAF proceeded to remove its 
control tower equipment from the two bases. Since Canada was unable to 
duplicate the equipment, it requested that the United States sell the equip- 
ment to Canada. The removal order was then canceled. 28 

Despite the difficulties encountered in the actual inauguration of control 
operations Canada succeeded, through the Thirty-second Recommendation 
and subsequent efforts, in establishing the principle of Canadian control of 
airway traffic. As hostilities terminated and the U.S. intention to withdraw 
from Canada as rapidly as possible became fully apparent, the Canadian fears 
that had been aroused concerning U.S. intentions were completely allayed. 

Military Air Services 

An early by-product of the Ogdensburg Declaration was the simplifica- 
tion of procedures governing the travel of public vessels and service aircraft 
of the two countries. An initial agreement, arranged by an exchange of 
notes in September 1940, gave blanket authority for U.S. service aircraft to 
fly over Canadian territory and waters between the United States and Alaska 

26 See below, |pp. 320-251 

27 Memo, SUSAM for CG AAF, 20 Sep 44, PDB 105-16. 

28 Journal, 7-8 Nov 44 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 



upon prior notification in each instance to the RCAF Western Air Com- 
mand and subject to the requirement to avoid prohibited areas. More 
extensive arrangements worked out in December 1940 provided, upon local 
notification, for (a) passage by U.S. public vessels through Canadian waters 
between the United States and Alaska or U.S. bases in Newfoundland and 
by service aircraft over Canadian territory, (b) exchange visits on joint defense 
matters, (c) Canadian flights over Maine on the Quebec-Maritime Provinces 
route in connection with joint defense matters, and (d) U.S. flights between 
points in the United States over the Ontario peninsula. 29 

The arrangements for local notification were worked out in detail over 
the succeeding eight months and provided authority adequate for the need 
for travel of military aircraft between the two countries throughout 1941 
and for the first few months after Pearl Harbor. Commercial operations by 
civilian airlines were covered by a separate agreement that defined the routes 
over which duly licensed airlines of each country could operate. 30 

By the end of February 1942 a new element had been introduced into 
the problem of travel by military aircraft. The AAF had for some time 
planned to use commercial airline aircraft on a contract or charter basis to 
meet military requirements. 51 Not long after Pearl Harbor, the Canadian 
Government granted authority for such contract service by Northeast Air- 
lines to the U.S. garrisons in Newfoundland and at Goose Bay. The AAF 
needed a similar service on the Northwest Staging Route and proceeded on 
20 February 1942 to make contract arrangements with Northwest Airlines 
for the desired military transport services. The U.S. Section of the Perma- 
nent Joint Board, at the request of the AAF sought authority at the 25-26 
February meeting for an arrangement under which "traffic would be strictly 
limited to United States Government personnel directly connected with the 
prosecution of the war" and to military cargoes, and would exclude trans- 
portation of commercial passengers or cargo for hire. The Canadian Section 
undertook to process the request and stated that a favorable reply would 
probably be received from the Department of Transport. 32 

Before a reply was received from the Canadian authorities, a Northwest 
Airlines survey aircraft, presumably acting upon instructions, landed at Ed- 

29 Memo, Berle for Christie, 18 Sep 40, and Reply, 19 Sep 40, D/S 811.2342/732 and /738. 
The exchange of diplomatic notes on 16 December 1940 is in PDB 126-10. 
50 EAS, 186; CTS, 1940, No. 13. 

31 For an excellent account of such operations during World War II, see Cleveland, Air 
Transport at War. 

"Journal, PDB 124; Memo, Brig Gen Olds for SUSAM, 23 Feb 42, PDB 126; Carr, Great 
Falls to Nome: The Inland Air Route to Alaska, 1940-1945, p. 26, cites War Department con- 
tract No. DA W535acl763, dated 20 February 1942 and approved 27 February 1942. 



monton on 27 February without authority and without undergoing customs 
processing. The aircraft was detained by the Canadian authorities while the 
question was examined by Brig. Gen. Robert Olds, commanding the Air 
Corps Ferrying Command, with Minister of Munitions and Supply C. D. 
Howe, who chanced to be in Washington. On 2 March the latter orally 
granted authority for the projected Northwest Airlines operations, and the 
survey aircraft, which had returned to Minneapolis on 1 March, proceeded 
to make its survey flight. A few days later Howe in a letter dated 7 March 
confirmed the grant of authority for use of all airfields and facilities of the 
Department of Transport by both military aircraft and civilian contract car- 
riers, stating that it was his understanding in regard to the contract carriers 
that the United States would, "as soon as possible, either enlist the pilots 
in the Air Corps or replace them by Air Corps personnel." 33 

Northwest Airlines completed its survey flights in March and initiated 
operations the same month. By mid-May company personnel in Canada 
and Alaska numbered eighty-eight, mostly located at Edmonton. Until the 
end of May, the operations were of little consequence and about half the 
410 tons of cargo carried (in addition to 889 passengers) comprised North- 
west Airlines supplies and equipment. During April two more civilian con- 
tract carriers initiated operations for the A AF — Western Airlines from the 
United States to Edmonton, and United Airlines from the United States 
through Edmonton to Fairbanks. 34 

The unauthorized Northwest Airlines landing on 27 February had a 
permanent and unhappy effect on Canadian-U.S. relations locally, and events 
of the following months produced no improvement. Northwest Airlines 
employees apparently deliberately emphasized and flaunted the civilian com- 
plexion of their operations. Personnel, aircraft, and facilities bore company 
identifications, and the employees identified their work as a company rather 
than U.S. Army task. During this period the company operated virtually 
autonomously and with no local supervision, since the AAF began the 
gradual introduction of cadres for its organization in Canada only in the 
latter half of 1942. 35 

The situation displeased Canadians, who saw the Northwest Airlines 

"The letter to General Olds is in PDB 126. Howe's account of the Edmonton episode is 
to be found in H. C. Debates, 15 May 42, p. 2486. His letter was thereafter cited as the basic 
authority for U.S. military air operations in Canada. 

54 Carr, Great Falls to Nome: The Inland Air Route to Alaska, 1940-1945, pp. 30-36. 

"These paragraphs are based on the Carr manuscript and on Alaskan Division: Historical 
Record Report, II. The president of Northwest Airlines believed that the United States should 
get its airlines firmly established in Canada and apparently conducted his own company opera- 
tions with this objective. (Memo/Conv, Moffat and C. Hunter, 14 Dec 42, D/S 811.79642/ 



actions as designed to create and advertise a privileged position that could 
be exploited after the war in commercial operations. Misunderstandings 
developed over the carrying out of agreements for the exchange of meteoro- 
logical data between the Department of Transport and U.S. Army agencies 
at the air bases. Reports that Northwest Airlines was carrying passengers 
for hire were circulated and did not improve the atmosphere. 

Finally, at an AAF-RCAF meeting in Ottawa on 25 June 1942, the con- 
ferees heard Canadian protests. The Canadians had understood, at similar 
meetings in Ottawa in March and April as well as in the Howe-Olds ex- 
change, that the AAF had agreed to militarize the civilian contract carriers 
and to assume ownership of their aircraft. 36 The AAF officers acknowledged 
this to be so and promised efforts to carry out the Canadian wishes, includ- 
ing the full militarization of the communications and weather personnel. 

The AAF took appropriate steps immediately thereafter. It instructed 
Northwest Airlines to replace its own markings and insignia with those of 
the Air Transport Command. Personnel were to wear the same uniform as 
U.S. Army personnel. Army Air Forces personnel were gradually introduced 
with a view to taking over the communications and weather functions of 
Northwest Airlines. The change-over to military communications and 
weather personnel moved slowly and in the face of opposition from North- 
west Airlines employees, who resisted relinquishing their jobs. At the 
beginning of 1943 the transfer was finally effected. A short time earlier the 
establishment of a Headquarters, Alaskan Wing, Air Transport Command, 
effective 1 November 1942, had projected military control into the scene of 
operations over the Northwest Staging Route. 

The Canadian Government still remained dissatisfied with the character 
of the Northwest Airlines operations. In early 1943 Canada claimed that 
the company was not only continuing to employ its title and conduct its 
operations as if independent of the AAF, but it was also carrying passengers 
for hire. To support the last charge, the Canadian Government formally 
transmitted evidence indicating that the Northwest Airlines had carried per- 
sonnel for hire and reiterated other grievances. 37 

The Canadian complaints were thoroughly investigated and a comprehen- 
sive report was forwarded to Ottawa on 30 March. The report concluded 
that, although the general Canadian complaints might have been true sev- 

56 Extracts of Canadian reports of the meetings are quoted in Memo, SUSAM for CG ATC, 
17 Mar 43, and in Ltr, from Hickerson, 27 Mar 43, both in PDB 110-8. 

"Memo, SUSAM for CG ATC, 17 Mar 43, PDB 110-8. On the other hand, the AAF 
must have had some degree of success, for the president of Northwest Airlines expressed him- 
self as unhappy about the status of his company and desirous of regaining his company's identity 
in its operations in Canada. (Memo/Conv, Moffat and Hunter, 14 Dec 42, D/S 811.79642/291.) 



eral months earlier, the corrective action pressed continuously by the U.S. 
Army had eliminated most of the grievances such as the use of airline mark- 
ings. Although not all the aircraft had become U.S. Government property, 
most of them had and the others were indistinguishable. Not all the per- 
sonnel had been militarized, but the civilian employees wore uniforms 
rendering them almost indistinguishable from military personnel. The Air 
Transport Command explained the circumstances of the transport-for-hire 
charges and gave assurances of its earnest desire to extract full compliance 
from its contract carriers with their instructions in these matters. 38 

Another aspect of the operations of U.S. military air services in Canada 
that troubled the Canadian Government was their Topsy-like growth. The 
Northeast and Northwest Airlines contracts had been followed by additional 
separate grants of approval for similar operations by several other U.S. com- 
panies in eastern and northwestern Canada. In addition, the AAF was itself 
operating military air transport aircraft over a number of routes, some of 
which had been specifically authorized, others of which had not. During 
March 1943, as part of its broader program to reassert full Canadian control 
over air operations and air installations in Canada, the Canadian and U.S. 
Governments initiated a re-examination of the civilian air transport contract 
service operations of the AAF. After reviewing its continued dissatisfaction 
with the character of the operations, the Canadian Government pointed out 
that some of the operations appeared to have no authority except possibly 
the December 1940 exchange of notes or the Twenty-second Recommenda- 
tion of the Permanent Joint Board, both of which appeared to cover only 
occasional or emergency flights. 39 Canada accordingly proposed to re-estab- 
lish the authority for all U.S. military transport services in a single over-all 
agreement to replace the existing piecemeal agreements. Where no specific 
authority existed, the Canadian Government felt that authorization should 
first be applied for by and granted to the United States, as a preliminary step 
to being placed within the framework of the new over-all agreement. The 
proposal contemplated that the conditions under which the civilian contract 
services would henceforth be provided could be set forth and made public, 
thus eliminating misunderstandings which might exist in Canada. An 
important objective of the proposal was to prevent the U.S. commercial air- 
lines from appearing to have a vested interest in routes that would have post- 
war commercial significance. 40 

"Memo, SUSAM for Cdn PJBD Secretary, 30 Mar 43, PDB 110-8. This memorandum 
replied to a note from the Canadian secretary, acting in his capacity as Under Secretary of State 
for External Affairs, to the U.S. Charge d' Affaires, in Ottawa through the diplomatic channel. 

39 Memo, Under Secy State for External Affairs for U.S. Charge d'Affaires, 16 Mar 43, PDB 

40 Memo, Hickerson for SUSAM, 26 May 43, PDB 126-10. 



The proposed over-all agreement, to be effective for the duration of the 
war, would provide (a) that service aircraft of one country could use the 
airway facilities of the second on a reciprocal basis for traffic limited as fol- 
lows: There would be no traffic for hire; goods were to be owned by an 
Allied government; only diplomatic mail would be carried except in cases 
where other mail was for delivery outside the second country; and only 
armed services and other governmental officials and Allied personnel travel- 
ing in connection with the war effort would be transported. It also provided 

(b) that authority would first have to be obtained by appropriate U.S. 
officials for service aircraft to use routes other than those then in effect, and 

(c) that commercial aircraft operated on behalf of one country could use air- 
way facilities of the second on a reciprocal basis on routes already approved. 
Traffic was to be limited as for (a). In addition, commercial aircraft opera- 
tions were to be replaced within six months by service aircraft operations 
employing service personnel. 41 The Newfoundland Government, upon 
Canadian inquiry, stated that it had no objection to inclusion of airway facili- 
ties operated by Canada or the United States in Newfoundland territory 
within the scope of the agreement. 42 

After the War Department had studied a preliminary draft of the Cana- 
dian proposal, it prepared a counterproposal for submission to the Canadian 
Section of the Permanent Joint Board on the occasion of the 6-7 May 1943 
meeting. United States diplomatic officials during conversations with their 
Canadian colleagues had meanwhile obtained the impression that Canada had 
decided not to press for the agreement inasmuch as the proposal had prob- 
ably already served its purpose in getting the United States to curb 
the objectionable commercial airline practices. The U.S. counterproposal 
was not presented and the matter was not discussed at the Permanent Joint 
Board meeting. 43 

At the beginning of June Canadian authorities inquired concerning a 
reply to the Canadian proposal. Three months later Canadian officials 
again queried the U.S. Section and expressed a hope for an early reply. In 
the interim, additional Northwest Airlines practices of a kind inconsistent 
with the intent of the proposed agreement had been reported. 44 

Upon receipt of the June inquiry, State, War, and Navy Department 
officers had conferred at the working level and had prepared a revised ver- 
sion of the counterproposal drafted earlier. United States reconsideration of 

41 Memo cited above, l~n. 39.1 

42 Ltr, Keenleyside to Charge d' Affaires Clark, 17 Apr 43, PDB 126-10. 

45 Unused Memo, SUSAM for Keenleyside, 5 May 43; Memo, Hickerson for SUSAM, 12 
May 43, both in PDB 126-10. 

44 Memo, Hickerson for SUSAM, 20 Sep 43; Memo, SUSAM for CG ATC, 2 Aug 43, both 
in PDB 126-10; Ltr, Clark to Hickerson, 4 Jun 43, D/S 811.79642/6-443. 



the Canadian proposal moved at a leisurely pace, and the counterproposal, 
forwarded to the Department of State on 1 October, was further considered 
there until late November 1943 but was not changed. 45 The counterpro- 
posal, finally forwarded to Ottawa on 24 November 1943 for submission to 
the Department of External Affairs, was an extensive revision of the Cana- 
dian proposal, incorporating changes that met the substantive U.S. objections 
by (a) eliminating the requirement for militarization of commercial contract 
aircraft as undesirable, and substituting controls designed to meet the Canadian 
objections, and (b) broadening the categories of traffic to be carried to 
include, for example, mail for U.S. troops. 46 

Canada undertook a protracted study of the counterproposal. On 17 
March 1944 it presented a new draft to the U.S. Embassy at Ottawa. In 
the main, the suggested changes represented a tightening and clarification 
of the provisions of the U.S. draft. The major change was the broadening 
of the definition of U.S. territory to include Hawaii as well as the United 
States proper and Alaska, looking to the time when the shifting of aircraft 
to the Pacific after V-E Day might "raise practical problems concerning 
military air routes across the Pacific." 47 

The United States continued to study this latest draft until early August 
1944, when a new aspect of the problem arose. Transoceanic aircraft of the 
Air Transport Command had begun carrying, on a fill-up basis, fare-paying 
passengers traveling in connection with the war effort. The U.S. authori- 
ties felt that this practice of selling fill-up spaces should be authorized by 
the agreement, since it was a practice of the British Overseas Airways Com- 
pany, a crown company operating over the same transatlantic route, and 
since they considered an intermediate country (Canada) should not dictate 
terminus to terminus traffic policy. Because Canada opposed such a provi- 
sion, in late September the United States was prepared to accept a text omit- 
ting it. 48 

But before final agreement an the text was reached, the issue was again 
raised when President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9492 on 25 October 
1944. By this order the President authorized the Air Transport Command 
to carry passengers for hire under certain conditions. Since it was necessary 
to take cognizance of this action in the proposed Canadian-U.S. agreement, 

45 Memo, SUSAM for Hickerson, 1 Oct 43; Department of State Desp 123, to U.S. Emb 
Ott, 18 Nov 43, both in PDB 126-10. 

46 Department of State Desp 123, to U.S. Emb Ott, 18 Nov 43, PDB 126-10. 

47 Department of External Affairs Memo, 17 Mar 44, PDB 126-10. 

"Memos, Parsons for Berle, 3 and 21 Aug 44, D/S 811.79642/8-344, and /8-2144; De- 
partment of State Desp, to U.S. Emb Ott, 26 Sep 44, D/S 811.79642/9-2644. 



and Canada considered the carrying of passengers for hire illegal and in vio- 
lation of Canadian law and treaty provisions, discussions on the problem 
continued on into January 1945. Finally, at a meeting in New York City 
in late January, an article in the proposed agreement was redrafted to permit 
traffic for hire through, but not into or away from, Canada, in connection 
with Air Transport Command transatlantic operations. With this last point 
of disagreement resolved, the exchange of notes was effected at Ottawa on 
13 February 194 5. 49 

When the agreement was made, it included a confidential attachment 
that listed in detail the routes being operated by each country (a) through 
use of commercial carriers under military contract, and (b) by its armed 
forces. Canada operated no route under (a), and only one under (b), the 
route originally authorized under the 12 December 1940 agreement. The 
United States was authorized thirteen routes in the first category and seven- 
teen in the second. 50 

Contrary to the originally stated Canadian intention to publish the agree- 
ment, it was not made public. Instead, an official press release was issued 
on 19 February 1945, announcing the substance of the agreement. Actually, 
the negotiations themselves, lasting over almost two years, had produced the 
required corrective action on the part of the U.S. authorities so that the 
Canadian objectives were largely achieved long before complete agreement 
was reached. 5 1 

Maintenance and Control of Bases 

The establishment of a U.S. Army air garrison at Newfoundland (Gander) 
Airport in May 1941 using housing and other facilities provided by Canada 
gave rise to problems that were rapidly to become more numerous and com- 
plex as the scale of U.S. activities in Newfoundland and Canada enlarged. 
The division of responsibility for maintaining and servicing, as well as for 
operating and defending, the facilities in which there was a joint U.S.-Cana- 
dian interest was the subject of negotiations lasting into 1944. 

To meet the initial situation, the Permanent Joint Board on Defense on 
10 November 1941 adopted the Twenty-first Recommendation, which was 
promptly approved by both governments. Under it the forces of one coun- 
try occupying buildings provided by the other were charged with maintaining 

49 Memo, from Parsons, 18 Jan 45, D/S 811.79642/1-1845. The agreement is TIAS, 2056; 
CTS, 1945, No. 1. 

50 TIAS, 2056; CTS, 1945, No. 1. 

Department of State Bulletin, February 25, 1945, XII, 307. In 1950, when the attach- 
ment listing the authorized routes was no longer considered confidential, the text of the agree- 
ment was published. 



them, as well as the appurtenant buildings within the assigned area, where 
it was feasible to delineate such an area. Utilities and services were to be 
provided by the host government on an equitable basis. Where a separate 
area was assigned and lent itself to the use of an independent system of 
services and facilities, they could be provided by the occupying forces. The 
arrangement was to be applicable reciprocally in both countries. 52 

At Gander Airport a separate U.S. area was not delimited. Before long 
the U.S. Newfoundland base commander concluded that an arrangement by 
which he was dependent on the Canadian forces for fire and police protec- 
tion was not desirable. Because of this and the frictions that he cited as 
being inevitably generated by an arrangement with "two families living in 
the same house," he continued to press unsuccessfully, during the following 
months, for designation of a physically separate U.S. area within which re- 
sponsibility need not be divided. 53 

The same problem soon arose at Goose Bay Airport in Labrador, where 
forces of both nations also occupied facilities constructed by Canada during 
the fall and winter of 1941-42. The construction of facilities did not, for 
diverse reasons, keep abreast of the demand, and, not long after the base was 
officially established as an RCAF station in March 1942, Canada permitted 
the U.S. Army to construct an independent group of facilities on the oppo- 
site side of the air base from the facilities tenanted by the Canadian and Brit- 
ish elements. 

The formula embodied in the Twenty-first Recommendation also proved 
suitable for application to the problems of joint occupancy at the principal 
bases of the Northwest Staging Route, where U.S. forces used facilities pro- 
vided by Canada. But it did not cover the air-base facilities constructed by 
the United States itself in Canada in connection with the North Atlantic 
Ferry Route and along the Northwest Staging Route and Mackenzie River 
valley. 54 As these facilities built up and for the United States became op- 
erational beginning in the latter months of 1942, new arrangements were 
needed, since the Twenty-first Recommendation had provided only for 
tenancy by one country of facilities provided in and by the second country. 

The broader questions of control, maintenance, and operation of bases 
occupied in their entirety by the tenant forces came under discussion at the 
24-25 February 1943 meeting of the Permanent Joint Board. The Board 
agreed that the following arrangement would be suitable: 

" |Appendix A,| below. 

" Ltr, CG NEC to Bissell, 16 Dec 41, PDB 107-3. 
54 See |Ch. VIII] above. 



a. Canada would be responsible for administration, security, traffic con- 

b. The United States would assume these responsibilities at air bases 
used exclusively or mainly by its own forces. Canada might post a liaison 
officer to each such air base. 55 

The Board agreement was not cast in the form of a recommendation. Shortly 
after the Board consideration, the Canadian Goverment asked that the agree- 
ment be held in abeyance pending further discussion. At the 1 April 1943 
Permanent Joint Board meeting, the Canadian Section withdrew its support 
of the earlier proposal and submitted one that assigned to Canada control 
of bases which it used substantially and to the United States only those where 
it was the sole user. 56 The Permanent Joint Board did not settle the matter 
until its next meeting, on 6-7 May. At this time the Board adopted its 
Thirty-first Recommendation, which assigned responsibility to the United 
States for bases of which its forces were the principal or exclusive user. It 
also provided that defense standards at such bases should be acceptable to 
the Canadian Chiefs of Staff and that, should Canada desire to assume con- 
trol of such an airfield, "the necessary arrangements . . . [should] be con- 
certed between the two Governments." 57 The Canadian Government, in 
reviewing the recommendation, would have preferred that it conform to the 
Canadian proposal of 1 April. Nevertheless, since the recommendation called 
for a specific schedule allocating the air-base responsibilities and incorpora- 
tion of this schedule into a further Board recommendation, the Canadian 
Government approved the Thirty-first Recommendation. 58 

During the succeeding months the Air members of the Permanent Joint 
Board worked out on the basis of the Thirty-first Recommendation the allo- 
cations of air bases and the details of responsibilities. The results were 
adopted by the Board on 24-25 August 1943 as the Thirty-second Recom- 
mendation. To ihe United States were allocated the Canol Project and Alaska 
Highway flight strips; the North Atlantic Ferry Route air bases it had con- 
structed; the air base at The Pas, where it was the principal user; and the 
Edmonton satellite air base, which was the only one of the major North- 
west Staging Route air bases developed from its inception by the United 
States. Both governments approved the recommendation in September. Ap- 
proval of the Thirty-second Recommendation represented another step in the 

"Journal, PDB 124. 

•><> Memos. SUS AM for CG AAF, 10 Mar and 5 Apr 43, PDB 113-2. 
" |Appendix A| below. 

58 Alaskan Division, Historical Record Report, Nov 42-Dec 43 volume, p. 225. 



Canadian program to reassert Canadian authority over Canada's airways, air 
bases, and air traffic. 59 

The four meetings of the joint U.S. -Canadian committee that studied 
problems arising from the Thirty-first and Thirty-second Recommendations, 
mentioned earlier in the chapter, were also the means for working out further 
details of the application of the Thirty-second Recommendation. As a matter 
of fact the greater portions of those meetings were devoted to problems of 
this type. During the meetings an excellent spirit of co-operation and under- 
standing prevailed, as a result of which suitable arrangements and adjust- 
ments were effected as to work specifications, division of labor, and similar 
questions in a manner best reflecting the availability of resources and the 
needs of the forces of the two countries. 

The Thirty-first Recommendation provided the basis for appropriate shifts 
of control of air bases to accord with changing circumstances before the gen- 
eral transfer to Canada of control of the entire U.S. system of bases at the 
end of the war. Control of the Mackenzie River valley flight strips of the 
Canol Project was transferred to Canada before the end of 1944. Between 
V-E and V-J Days, it became fully apparent that the air bases at Churchill 
and The Pas would have no appreciable role in the support of the U.S. ef- 
fort in either Europe or the Pacific. Since Canada was prepared to take them 
over and integrate them completely into the Canadian network of civil air- 
ports, the transfers were effected on 1 and 2 August 1945, respectively. With 
Canadian assumption of control and responsibility for these air installations, 
the general transfer of the entire U.S. air-base system to Canadian control 
was well under way. 60 

VJ |Appendix A[ below. Despite the provision in the Thirty-first Recommendation for sta- 
tioning of liaison officers, Minister of Munitions and Supply C. D. Howe revealed a year after 
approval of the schedule of allocations that there were one or two bases that to his knowledge 
no Canadian had yet seen, indicating that Canada apparently had not made use of this provi- 
sion. (H. C. Debates, 8 Aug 44, p. 6084.) 

60 See lCh. xTD below. 


Mission Accomplished 

The tasks assigned to U.S. forces in Canada and related Canadian activi- 
ties changed frequently as the battle lines receded farther from North America 
and as the broader logistical requirements and situations shifted accordingly. 
Certain of the tasks were finished and others were canceled even before the 
necessary facilities had been fully completed and long before victorywas 
won on the fighting fronts. Still other tasks arose only upon the termina- 
tion of hostilities in the combat zones. The reduction of the U.S. establish- 
ment was thus not an immediate consequence of V-J Day but began long 
before that date and lasted over a period of years. The arrangements for dis- 
posing of U.S. installations and equipment during the U.S. withdrawal dif- 
fered markedly from the arrangements initiating the activities. Whereas in 
the early wartime years the military considerations were overriding, many 
other factors needed to be taken into account in working out the disposal 
arrangements. This complicating element was compensated for by the fact 
that, in place of having to reach decisions quickly, those working out the 
disposal arrangements could take adequate time to study thoroughly the 
problems involved. 

Beginning the American Roll-up 

The year 1943 saw the transition from a situation in which northern North 
America was vulnerable to enemy attack to one of relative security and the 
use of northern North America principally as a logistical base for overseas 
operations. By the end of the year the Allied position had improved sub- 
stantially. The Japanese had been evicted from the Aleutians, the Axis sub- 
marine menace was being reduced, and the Allies had seen major successes 
in the Mediterranean and on the eastern European fronts. 

During the latter half of 1943 the United States reduced its garrison in 
Newfoundland from about 10,000 to half that number. Canada also began 
to reduce its garrison in Newfoundland. In Canada, Canadian antiaircraft 
and coastal defense forces were scaled downward. The 7th and 8th Canadian 
Divisions were disbanded, while the 6th was partially reduced in strength. 
Similarly, Canadian air base defense detachments were withdrawn from the 
Northwest Staging Route and other bases. This progressive reduction of 



the defensive garrisons begun in 1943 continued throughout the remainder 
of the war. 

In the changing situation parts of the U.S. logistical organization and 
system of installations in Canada for support of the overseas effort became 
surplus. By mid-1943 the United States was prepared to abandon the un- 
completed western route of the Crimson Project, together with the support- 
ing meteorological and communications networks, and to curtail the work at 
other bases of that project. On the Pacific coast, the elimination of 1943 of 
the Japanese threat to Alaska and the Aleutians reduced certain of the mis- 
sions and operations of the logistical facilities in that area. Likewise, the 
completion of the military phase of the construction of the Alaska Highway 
and Canol Project resulted in the withdrawal, beginning in early 1943, of a 
large part of the Engineer troop construction force, which had reached a 
strength exceeding 10,000. 

These withdrawals were largely offset by two new developments. The 
task of completing the projects from which these troops were withdrawn 
passed to the hands of civilian contractors whose employees had gradually 
been increased for the purpose. In September 1943 the number of U.S. civil- 
ians employed on the Alaska Highway alone reached a peak exceeding 10,000. 
Throughout the rest of 1943 the civilian force, too, was drastically reduced 
as the projects neared completion. The second development was the estab- 
lisment in September 1942, and continued expansion thereafter, of the North- 
west Service Command, the logistical organization charged with operating 
the various U.S. installations, facilities, and services as they were completed 
or established. By August 1943 the strength of this command exceeded 

Other circumstances militated against reductions of U.S. forces in the 
Canadian northwest. The United States assumed an active role in air-base 
construction during 1943 and 1944 which absorbed a large part of the con- 
struction force released from the completed projects. Then, too, operations 
for ferrying lend-lease aircraft to Alaska for the USSR reached their peak 
during 1944. Concurrently, the strength of the Alaskan Wing of the Air 
Transport Command reached its peak of 9,987 in November 1944, and still 
amounted to 7,032 on V-J Day. 1 

Victory in Europe brought new missions for the forces and facilities in 
Canada. The North Atlantic Ferry Route was sheduled to play a new role 
in the movement of air units and personnel in the general redeployment of 
forces from the European to the Pacific theaters. The Prince Rupert port, 

' Carr, Great Falls to Nome: The Inland Air Route to Alaska, 1940-1945, pp. 97-98. 



on the Pacific coast, was slated to perform a vital function in stepping up 
the movement of tonnages required in the Pacific area for the intensification 
of operations against Japan. The early surrender of Japan caused both of 
these operations to be dropped. In a slightly different form, operations over 
the North Atlantic Ferry Route did figure importantly in demobilization by 
speeding return from Europe of Canadian and U.S. fighting forces. 2 

In anticipation of the adjustments and reductions that would be necessary 
in the U.S. logistical structure in Canada, some consideration had been given 
to the problem of disposition of surplus property before the end of 1942. 
The facilities fell naturally into two groups— the fixed and immovable facili- 
ties, and the movable facilities, equipment, and supplies. Neither category 
included such facilities as the Alaska Highway and the Canol Project, for 
which appropriate arrangements as to disposition had been included in the 
original agreements. 

Shortly after the Canadian Government suggested that the disposition of 
items not already provided for be arranged, the Permanent Joint Board on 
Defense examined the problem, at its 3 November 1942 meeting. The Cana- 
dian Section of the Board presented a draft recommendation on the subject 
in furtherance of the Canadian desire that governmental agreement be based 
upon a formal recommendation by the Board. 3 Why Canada desired the 
Permanent Joint Board to take up the matter the Canadian Section did not 
state. The reason may have been that because the disposal operation would 
undoubtedly be closely examined by the public and legislatures of both 
countries a background of Permanent Joint Board consideration would mini- 
mize the impact on each of the governments. Although the Board unques- 
tioningly accepted the task, the matter of working out disposal procedures 
appears to have been an administrative problem, to a large extent free of 
defense considerations, and perhaps properly outside the purview of the Board. 
In some instances the question of residual military and defense value needed 
to be considered, but this aspect was only a small part of the larger problem. 

One purpose the Canadian Government had in pressing for a Board rec- 
ommendation on postwar disposition of facilities was the desire to present a 
recommendation to the House of Commons when it met on 20 January 1943. 
The Canadian purpose was illuminated on 1 February, when the Prime 
Minister laid the recommendation before the House. The recommendation 
and his accompanying statement were an effective method of allaying grow- 
ing Canadian concern as to the status of U.S. activities in Canada in the 

2 See above, ICh. VII.I 

'Journal, PDB 124; Ltr, Hickerson to Robins, 11 Nov 42, PDB 150-2. 



postwar period. After pointing out that, as a purely wartime arrangement, 
the United States had provided materials for, or defrayed the cost of, the 
construction of a number of projects in Canada, he stated: 

It is not contemplated that the contribution which the United States is thus mak- 
ing to the common defense will give the country any continuing rights in Canada after 
the conclusion of the war. Indeed, with regard to most of the projects that have been 
undertaken in this country by the United States, agreements have already been made which 
make the postwar position completely clear. 4 

The Permanent Joint Board's Twenty-eighth Recommendation, based on 
the Canadian draft and approved on 13 January, was approved by the two 
governments in an exchange of notes on 27 January. It provided, for facili- 
ties or materiel for which no other disposition had been made, that (a) im- 
movable installations would become the property of Canada or of the province, 
unless other arrangements were agreed within one year after the cessation 
of hostilities, and (b) movable facilities could be removed from Canada or 
be offered for sale to Canada during the same period. If these options were 
foregone, the United States could sell the facilities on the open market, any 
sale to be subject to approval by both governments. 5 On the surface this 
arrangement seemed to favor Canada. Unless it agreed to some other ar- 
rangement, all immovable installations covered by the recommendation auto- 
matically became Canadian property when the year following the termination 
of hostilities expired. As it turned out, the Twenty-eighth Recommendation 
was not to be applied in the initial detailed disposition arrangements con- 
cluded after its adoption, and, in fact, its provisions were to be amended 
before it had ever been applied. 

The Northern Airfields Settlement 
During the first months after Pearl Harbor, when Canada undertook to 
construct facilities on the Northwest Staging Route at the request of and 
for use by the United States, it followed the policy set forth in the recom- 
mendations of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense by which each gov- 
ernment financed the work within its own geographic jurisdiction. In April 
1942 Canada modified this position and agreed to pay for the construction 
of all work requested by the United States when the work was of continuing 
value to the air route, while the United States was to pay for facilities over 
and above Canadian standards and needed solely for US. military purposes. 6 
This policy prevailed for about a year. 

4 H. C. Debate s, 1 Feb 43, pp. 20-21. 

^Appendix A| below. The exchange of notes is in EAS, 391, and CTS, 1943, No. 2. 
6 See above. I Ch. Vlll. I 



In the face of ever-expanding U.S. construction requirements for facilities 
on the staging route, the Canadian Cabinet War Committee in late March 
1943 initially considered reimbursing the United States fully for its payments, 
but in the next month it decided to withhold such action. After further con- 
sideration, the Canadian Government on 31 May 1943 advised the United 
States that it would no longer submit claims for payment and proposed 
instead that the whole matter of the settlement of the construction accounts 
be postponed and worked out at the end of the war. 7 The United States 
accordingly suspended its payments to Canada on the construction account. 
Seven months later, on 18 December 1943, the Canadian Government advised 
the United States that it had again revised its decision. Canada would hence- 
forth bear the cost of construction of all permanent facilities or improve- 
ments carried out on airfields in northwest Canada at the request of and for 
the account of the United States and would reimburse the United States for 
its expenditures for such construction. 8 The United States would continue 
to finance such of its projects as had no permanent value. 

One factor influencing the decision was the importance Canada attached 
to the northern airfields. Minister of Munitions and Supply C. D. Howe, 
in reporting the Canadian decision to the House of Commons on 29 Febru- 
ary 1944, pointed out that the Northwest Staging Route was "one of the 
most important in the world ... as part of an international air route." Ex- 
ecution of the new policy would make the staging route and its permanent 
facilities wholly Canadian property, constructed by Canada with the co-opera- 
tion of the United States but financed entirely by Canada. Still later, in 
reporting on the final arrangements to the House of Commons, Prime Min- 
ister King stated that "it . . . [had been] thought undesirable that any other 
country should have a financial investment in improvements of permanent 
value, such as civil aviation facilities, for peacetime use in this country." He 
cited this factor, together with the Canadian desire to finance the facilities 
as part of the Canadian contribution to the war effort, as the two considera- 
tions prompting Canadian action. 9 

Another factor entering into the Canadian decision was its rapidly mount- 
ing U.S. dollar balance, which had by the end of 1942 almost been restored to 
the September 1939 level and had during 1943 jumped from $319 to $649 
million. Because of the rapid rate at which Canada had been accumulating 
U.S. dollars, the United States in early 1943 had considered it necessary to 

7 Alaskan Division, Historical Record Report, Nov 42-Dec 43 volume, p. 222; Cdn Leg 
Note 288, to Secy State, 31 May 43, PDB 126. 

8 Cdn Leg Note 643, to Secy State, 18 Dec 43, D/S 842.7962/121. 
9 H. C. Debates, 29 Feb 44, pp. 980-81, and 1 Aug 44, pp. 5706-08. 



work out an informal arrangement with Canada which would put a limit on 
Canadian holdings of U.S. dollars. Under the arrangement, called the Mor- 
genthau-Ilsley agreement, the U.S. dollar balance was to be kept within an 
agreed range through control of the flow of production orders to Canada 
and other measures. The continued rapid build-up of Canada's exchange 
position which took place during 1943 prompted the United States to invoke 
the provisions of the agreement in early 1944. Accordingly, Minister of 
Finance J. L. Ilsley and Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau jointly devel- 
oped a program of measures designed to reduce Canada's current holdings 
and future receipts of U.S. dollars. Payment to the United States for its ex- 
penditures on permanent airport improvements became an important element 
of the arrangement. Fortunately, this large dollar expenditure was feasible 
and even desirable at a time when Canada wished to assure its control of 
the northern airfields. On the U.S. side, no responsible official had envisaged 
a position of special privilege for the United States in Canada as a result of 
the wartime operations there, and therefore the offer of unanticipated pay- 
ment for U.S. expenditures was readily gratefully accepted. 10 

During the months after the December 1943 decision, additional discus- 
sions took place between Canada and the United States as to the scope, form, 
and other details of Canadian payments for construction on the northern air- 
fields. The United States proposed a lump-sum settlement that could be 
adjusted upon termination of hostilities. Canada preferred to itemize ex- 
penditures insofar as possible, leaving a relatively small amount of uncom- 
pleted construction for the adjustment process. The United States also 
requested that, at an appropriate time, discussions take place concerning post- 

10 Ltr, Ilsley to Morgenthau, 24 Mar 44, cited in "Report of Meetings in Washington, D. C. 
on 25-26 April 1944," PDB 150-4. For the Morgenthau-Ilsley agreement on the dollar balance 
question, see F. A. Knox, "Canada's Balance of International Payments, 1940-45," Canadian 
Journal of Economics and Political Science, XIII (August 1947), 345-62. Lingard and Trotter, 
Canada in World Affairs, III, p. 215, speculate that the concurrent investigation b y the Specia l 
Senate (Truman) Committee Investigating the National Defense Program (see above jpp. 233-35*1 ) 
rendered the United States amenable to the Canadian proposition. This appears to be unlikely 
since in northwest Canada that committee investigated only the Canol Project. Of the total 
Canol expenditure of about $135 million Canada brought within the airfield agreement only 
the Mackenzie River flight strips at a cost of $1,264,150, which represented less than 2 percent 
of the amount finally transferred under the airfield agreement. The validity of the theory is 
further challenged by the fact that, despite a strong contrary Truman Committee recommenda- 
tion, the War Department proceeded in the early months of 1944 to expend an additional $19 
million on the Canol Project. For Canadian policies and statistics on its U.S. dollar position, 
see Canada, Foreign Exchange Control Board, Report to the Minister of Finance, March 1946. 
United States figures are to be found in Department of Commerce, Bureau of Foreign and Do- 
mestic Commerce, International Transactions of the United States During the War, 1940-45 
(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1948), pp. 122-31. 



war use of these and other fields on a reciprocal basis, and Canada acceded 
to this request. 11 

During the discussions of the airfield settlement and as a consequence of 
the Morgenthau-Ilsley arrangement, the scope of the proposed agreement 
was broadened to include (a) the airfields in eastern Canada as well as those 
in northwestern Canada, (b) the telephone land line that had been con- 
structed as part of the Alaska Highway, (c) Canadian construction on U.S. 
account at the Goose Bay air base in Labrador, and (d) certain additional 
construction on the Northwest Staging Route by Canada for U.S. account. 
The final agreement was embodied in an exchange of notes dated 23 and 27 
June 1944. 12 It provided among other things that existing arrangements for 
the maintenance, operation, and defense of the facilities would continue in 
effect for the duration of the war. Upon relinquishment of facilities, all 
items at the installations, nonpermanent as well as permanent, were to be 
turned over to Canada. 

Table 7 presents a summary of the expenditures on the northern airfields 
by both countries. Of the total U.S. expenditures of $90,683,571 at the in- 
stallations covered by the agreement, the United States was reimbursed 
$76,811,551 by Canada for improvements having permanent value. The 
Canadian expenditures authorized at the same installations amounted to 
$29,600,643, to which Canada added funds estimated at $5,161,000 to cover 
the completion of additional construction work desired by the United States. 

Not long after the June settlement was concluded the United States be- 
gan to transfer facilities covered by it to Canada. The Canadian Department 
of Transport took over the flight strips of the Mackenzie River route on 1 
November 1944. In late August and in September the United States had 
reported its desire to relinquish its facilities at Calgary, Grande Prairie, Fort 
St. John, Watson Lake, Namao, and Prince George. During October the 
transfer of facilities at these points began and was completed by the end of 
1945. At that time U.S. personnel remained only on the airfields at Edmon- 
ton, Fort Nelson, and Whitehorse; the U.S. facilities at these places, together 
with the telephone land line, were turned over to Canada at a ceremony at 

11 Note, Berle to Cdn Ambassador, 24 Feb 44, and Reply, 20 Mar 44, D/S 842.7962/121 
and /134. 

12 EAS, 405, and CTS, 1944, No. 19. Only the latter contains the appendixes that list in 
detail the Canadian and U.S. expenditures on the facilities covered by the agreement. Accounts 
of the negotiation are to be found in The Canada Year Book, 1945, pp. 705-12, and Canada 
at War, No. 40 (Sep 44), pp. 28-37, as well as in the statement of the Prime Minister, H. C. 
Debates, 1 Aug 44, pp. 5706-08. The statement is also published in Department of State 
Bulletin, August 6, 1944, XI, 139-41. On the broadening of the settlement pursuant to the 
Morgenthau-Ilsley arrangements, see statement of Ilsley in H. C. Debates, 21 Apr 44, p. 2227. 



Table 7 — Canadian-United States Expenditures on the Northern 
Airfields, Detailed by Projects 


U.S. Expenditures to 24 
April 1944 (U.S. Dollars) 


Of Permanent 

Canadian Expenditures (Canadian Dollars) 

Authorised to 
31 March 1944 

Expended to 
31 March 1944 

Balance to 

Grand Total _ 

$90, 683, 571 

$76, 811,551 

>$29, 600, 643 


$7, 549, 166 

Northeast Staging Route 

The Pas, Manitoba 

Churchill, Manitoba 

Southampton Island, North- 
west Territories 

Frobisher Bay, Northwest Ter- 

Fort Chimo, Quebec 

Mingan, Quebec 

Goose Bay, Labrador 

Northwest Staging Route 

Aishihik, Yukon Territory 

Beatton River, British Colum- 

Calgary, Alberta 

Edmonton, Alberta, air base... 
Namao, Alberta (Edmonton 

satellite field) 

Fort Nelson, British Columbia. 
Fort St. John, British Colum- 
bia . . 

Grande Prairie, Alberta 

Kamloops, British Columbia... 

Lethbridge, Alberta 

Prince George, British Colum- 

Regina, Saskatchewan 

Smith River, British Columbia. 

Snag, Yukon Territory 

Teslin, Yukon Territory 

Watson Lake, Yukon Territory. 
Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, . 

Flight strips along Alaska High- 

Mackenzie- Athabasca route 

Telephone line, Edmonton to 
Alaska boundary 

$39, 494, 300 
9, 385, 700 


9, 756, 500 
4, 285, 200 

37, 320, 226 

6, 206, 800 

5,318, 870 

6, 833, 190 
8, 686, 470 



5, 248, 822 

6, 853, 683 
6, 186, 892 

4, 415,441 
1,968, 015 

28, 517 
2, 836, 835 

6, 264, 495 
5, 477, 354 

3, 974, 683 
1, 719, 956 

164, 732 

164, 732 

4, 156, 695 

8, 297, 429 

3, 262, 687 
1, 264, 150 

9, 342, 208 

7, 395, 881 

3, 262, 687 
1, 264, 150 

9, 342, 208 

1,253, 850 

$7, 516, 406 
921, 650 

$3, 724, 284 
332, 200 

9, 950, 680 

• 18, 359, 953 

, 941, 407 
512, 178 

• 3, 634, 759 


• 1,070,822 

1, 297, 132 

• 1, 255,110 
1,037, 237 

142, 274 

438, 761 
855, 399 
862, 100 

• 1,218,685 

2, 717, 795 

6, 559, 756 

824, 159 

418, 620 
392, 448 

649, 535 

1,297, 132 
960, 126 
769, 953 
41, 427 

417, 903 
134, 646 
645, 095 
1,035, 374 
2, 189, 627 

• Additional construction work undertaken by Canada in 1944 on the Northwest Staging Route at the request of the 
United States is estimated to have cost 25,161,000 in Canadian funds at follows: Edmonton 31,250,000, Grande Prairie 
81,500,000, Fort Nelson 81,803,000, Watson Lake $608,000. 

Source: Canada at War> No. 40 (Sep 44), p. 37. Details of the above expenditures are to be found in CTS, 1944, 
No. 19. 



Whitehorse on 3 April 1946, at which each government was represented by 
its chairman on the Permanent Joint Board on Defense. The United States, 
which had been training Canadian personnel for the land-line operation since 
November 1945, retained personnel for this purpose with that facility until 
1 June 1946. " The airfields in eastern Canada, which had been largely con- 
structed, financed, maintained, and controlled by the United States, were 
released beginning in August 1945. 14 

Disposals Under the Thirty-third Recommendation 
The dispositions effected by the June 1944 settlement, together with those 
provided for specifically as part of project authorizations, reduced consider- 
ably the facilities and materiel to which the principles of the general settle- 
ment set forth in the Twenty-eighth Recommendation might be applied. In 
early 1944 questions arose as to the application of the provisions of the rec- 
ommendation that led to the working out of new arrangements. Canadian 
authorities had expressed the view that, under the Twenty-eighth Recom- 
mendation, within one year after the cessation of hostilities all remaining 
U.S. immovables would become Canadian property. United States authori- 
ties differed with this view on the basis that the recommendation provided 
for the conclusion of agreements to provide suitable reimbursement for 
selected facilities and that such agreements had been anticipated for certain 
of the facilities. 15 

To clarify the disposal arrangements, the U.S Section of the Permanent 
Joint Board on Defense introduced a new draft recommendation on the sub- 
ject at the 28-29 June 1944 meeting. At the subsequent Board meeting on 
7-8 September, the new recommendation, the Thirty-third and the last agreed 
upon during the wartime years, was approved. 16 The Canadian and U.S. 
Governments approved the recommendation in September and November 
1944, respectively, and thereafter it was confirmed through an exchange of 
notes. 1 " 

"To meet its continuing requirements for telephone and telegraph communications services 
in northwest Canada and to Alaska, the United States arranged to lease some of the available 
channels at a rental of $271,000 annually. (TIAS, 1966; CTS, 1948, No. 6.) 
14 The airfields in eastern Canada were released on the following dates: 

Churchill 1 August 1945 

The Pas 2 August 1945 

Southampton Island 7 September 1945 

Mingan - October 1949 

Fort Chimo - October 1949 

Frobisher Bay . 1 September 1950 

" Memo, Parsons for Hickerson, 11 Jul 44, D/S 842.20 Defense/7-844. 
"Journals, PDB 124. 

17 EAS, 444; CTS, 1944, No. 35. See Appendix A 



According to the recommendation, the United States was to supply within 
three months after its approval a list of the immovable facilities not already 
provided for, for which it desired to be reimbursed. The fair market value 
of these facilities was then to be determined by a joint appraisal, in which 
an agreed third appraiser was to fix the value if the joint appraisers could 
not agree. The agreed fair market value was to be paid by Canada to the 
United States. The remaining facilities not so listed by the United States 
were to become Canadian property automatically one year after the termi- 
nation of hostilities. The revised arrangement gave the United States a free 
hand to determine the immovable facilities for which it should be reim- 
bursed, whereas the Twenty-eighth Recommendation had permitted a reim- 
bursement only when Canada was willing to agree thereto. The new 
arrangement relieved Canada of the onus of determining the installations for 
which the United States should be paid, and instead put upon the United 
States the burden of stating its wishes. 

As to movables, Canada had been somewhat concerned over the provi- 
sion of the Twenty-eighth Recommendation that would under certain 
circumstances have put the United States into the business of selling surplus 
property in Canada. This possibility was eliminated by arranging that prop- 
erty not removed from, or purchased by, Canada was to be transferred to a 
Canadian Government agency for disposal and reimbursement to the United 
States. To safeguard U.S. interests, a U.S. officer was to have a voice in the 
disposal of such property. The Canadian Government soon designated the 
Crown Assets Allocation Committee and the War Assets Corporation, Lim- 
ited, two governmental agencies, as its agents for carrying out the provisions 
of the Thirty-third Recommendation. Declarations of surplus were made 
to the Crown Assets Allocation Committee, and, when portions of such 
surplus were declared also surplus to the needs of Canadian governmental 
agencies, they were transferred to the War Assets Corporation, Limited, for 
sale or other disposition. 18 

Immediately after the governments had agreed to this recommendation, 
the question was raised as to payment of customs duties on surplus property 
sold in Canada. Canadian authorities had earlier expressed the view that 
these duties should be paid and should be assessed on the basis of the value 
of the property when sold. The U.S. view was that, since the property had 

18 War Assets Corporation, Limited, was established under authority of the Dominion Com- 
panies' Act by Privy Council 9108, 29 November 1943, which also authorized establishment of 
the Crown Assets Allocation Committee. The former agency was succeeded by a new War 
Assets Corporation established on 12 July 1944 under the statutory authority provided in the 
Surplus Crown Assets Act, which came into effect 30 June 1944. 



been used for the mutual benefit of both countries in the prosecution of the 
war, the amount recovered by the United States should not be diminished 
by any duties that would accrue to Canada. At the January 1945 Perma- 
nent Joint Board meeting, U.S. Chairman LaGuardia strongly urged that the 
levies be waived in the interest of good U.S.-Canadian relations. The next 
month Canada accepted the U.S. view. 19 

The United States, as required by the Thirty-third Recommendation, on 
11 February 1945 submitted the list of immovable facilities for which it de- 
sired reimbursement on the basis of the jointly agreed fair market value. 
Even before final agreement had been reached on the Thirty-third Recom- 
mendation, the United States had already reported as surplus to its needs the 
railroad depot at Dawson Creek, and Camp 550 and the Jesuit College at 
Edmonton. In general, the facilities listed included all U.S. weather sta- 
tions, command installations, storage and water facilities, and similar 
installations throughout Canada. The following major items appeared on 
the list: 

Camp 550, Edmonton 
Jesuit College, Edmonton 
Depot and appurtenances, Dawson Creek 
Bechtel-Price-Callahan Building, Edmonton 
Military hospital, Edmonton 
Railhead and appurtenances, Edmonton 
Railhead and appurtenances, McCrae, Yukon Territory 
Weather and communications facilities, at 57 sites throughout Canada 
Alaska Highway relay stations (14) 
Headquarters and base facilities, Whitehorse 
Standard Oil Company office and housing facilities, Whitehorse 
Prince Rupert Subport of Embarkation, including the Port Edward 
staging area and Watson Island ammunition storage facilities 

An American and a Canadian appraiser proceeded to place valuations upon 
the immovable facilities that had been listed by the United States. In no 
instance was it necessary to use a third appraiser, since the two were in each 
instance able to reach agreement on a fair market value. 

Disposition of movable equipment and facilities proceeded concurrently. 
Large quantities of U.S. equipment and supplies were returned to the United 
States. Where such materiel was surplus to U.S. needs and was desired by 
one of the Canadian governmental agencies, transfers were made on a reim- 

19 Journal, PDB 124; Ltr, Hickerson to Pearson, 20 Dec 44, D/S 842.20 Def/12-2044, and 
Reply, 9 Feb 45, D/S 842.20 Def/2-945. 



bursable basis. When there was neither U.S. nor Canadian official need for 
the surplus materiel, it was put up for public sale with corresponding reim- 
bursement to the United States. 20 

By the beginning of 1946 transfer of a considerable part of the total list 
had been completed. The United States had been reimbursed $770,000 
(U.S.) for the first four items— Camp 550, Jesuit College, the Dawson Creek 
depot, and the Bechtel-Price-Callahan Building. 21 Disposition of a small 
number of the minor facilities had also been arranged. Appraisal of the 
immovable facilities had been substantially completed even though some of 
the more complex ones, such as the McCrae railhead and the facilities in and 
near Prince Rupert, had only been declared surplus by the War Department 
in October 194 5. 2 2 

In early March 1946 Canadian authorities suggested that all remaining 
U.S. property, movable and immovable, be disposed of under a single agree- 
ment at the governmental level, in order to permit completion of the trans- 
action by 31 March, the end of the Canadian fiscal year. This timing would, 
in turn, permit use of funds available in the old fiscal year, whereas doubt 
was expressed that funds would be available for the purpose in the new 
fiscal year. Such an over-all settlement promised greatly to simplify for 
Canada the task of appraising and taking over the remaining U.S. Govern- 
ment property, which involved, besides the War Assets Corporation, the 
Departments of National Defense for Air, National Defense (Army), and 
Transport. In this task Canadians had been encountering administrative 
difficulties and a considerable duplication of work. 23 Both sides had to 
make some broad estimates in order to work out an agreement within the 
time available, but by and large most of the needed basic data was compiled. 
The notes effecting the agreement were signed on 30 March 1946. The 

20 Privy Council 3432, 15 May 45. 

21 Camp 550 was so designated because it was a housing facility having a capacity for 550 
persons. The headquarters of the Northwest Division of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers 
was located at the Jesuit College, which had been improved and enlarged for that purpose. 
The Bechtel-Price-Callahan Building had been used for office space by the prime contractor for 
the Canol Project. 

22 Responsibility for disposition of U.S. property in foreign areas had, by Executive Order 
9630, 27 September 1945, been transferred from the War and Navy Departments and the Army- 
Navy Liquidation Commissioner to the Department of State as of 20 October 1945. The re- 
sponsibility was discharged by the Foreign Liquidation Commissioner, who established a field 
organization that included a Deputy Field Commissioner in Ottawa. The actual physical cus- 
tody of property and administration of the disposal arrangements continued to remain with 
the U.S. service agencies in Canada. See Department of State, Office of the Foreign Liquidation 
Commissioner, Report to Congress on Foreign Surplus Disposal. April 1946. (Washington: Govern- 
ment Printing Office, 1946), and Department of State Bulletin. March 3, 1946, XIV, 350. 

2} Memo/Conv, R. M. Macdonnell and Parsons, 7 Mar 46, PDB 150-2; Privy Council 1189, 
29 Mar 46. 


arrangement, according to the notes, was based on the underlying principles 
of the Thirty-third Recommendation, yet it permitted a speedy and expedi- 
tious closing out of the bulk of the outstanding disposal problems. By the 
agreement, the United States was reimbursed $12 million (U.S.) for installa- 

tions and materiel whose original cost had been as follows: 24 

Total original cost $38,906,844 

Immovable facilities 27,882,825 

Movable property 26,674,302 

U.S. Navy property lend-leased to the United Kingdom but left in 
Canada 4,349,717 

Under the agreement U.S. forces could recapture or continue to use such 
facilities and materiel as they needed, subject to the provision that appro- 
priate reimbursement would be made to Canada for any property recaptured. 
For its part, the United States was not to abandon any property until Canada 
had been given a reasonable opportunity to arrange for its custody. Under 
this and earlier agreements, all immovable facilities awaiting disposition had 
been accounted for. 

The 1946 agreement proved a useful tool to Canada in another connec- 
tion. The Canadian armed forces desired to purchase certain surplus U.S. 
materiel from stocks outside of Canada. Through use of the agreement and 
some of the funds available in fiscal year 1945-46, Canada deposited $7 
million (U.S.) with the U.S. Government to be used for this purpose. The 
amount proved to be in excess of the funds needed for the available surplus 
materiel of the types desired, and of the amount the Canadian Government 
later decided should be expended for the purpose. On 10 October 1947 
Canada requested the return of $1 million of the deposit and, on 24 January 
1948, the return of an additional $2.2 million, thus reducing the account to 
$3.8 million. 25 

Special Dispositions 

Separate arrangements were made for two major U.S. undertakings, the 
Alaska Highway and the Canol Project, in accordance with the terms of the 
original agreements with Canada authorizing these projects. In the case of 
the Alaska Highway project, the United States had agreed that it would 
maintain the highway for at least six months after the termination of the 
war, and that the portion of the highway in Canada would become an in- 

24 TIAS, 1531; CTS, 1946, Nos. 12 and 31. Lists appended to the notes set forth in detail 
the facilities and supplies included under this settlement. Canadian Government approval of 
the transaction was granted in Privy Council 1189, 29 Mar 46. 

"TIAS, 1981; CTS, 1948, No. 8. 



tegral part of the Canadian highway system. No provision was made for 
reimbursement to the United States for its expenditures. 26 

The terms of the Alaska Highway agreement were applied to other agree- 
ments connected with the road. When the construction of the Haines- 
Champagne cutoff road was authorized, it came under the terms of the basic 
agreement. Eight flight strips had been authorized and constructed under 
still another agreement, which also made the strips subject to the terms of 
the basic Alaska Highway agreement. Constructed under the basic authority 
of the original Alaska Highway agreement, although not mentioned in the 
notes exchanged, were many other immovable facilities such as relay stations, 
construction and maintenance camps, convoy parking sites, and the like. 27 
Insofar as disposal arrangements were concerned, auxiliary facilities that were 
associated with the construction of the highway, such as the construction 
and maintenance camps, were treated as being covered under the highway 
disposal plan. Others, which were operational adjuncts to the highway such 
as the relay stations, were disposed of under the procedures of the Thirty- 
third Recommendation and the 30 March 1946 exchange of notes. 

Arrangements were made for transfer to Canada of the Canadian sections 
of the Alaska Highway and the Haines cutoff on 1 April 1946. In accord- 
ance with the terms of the original agreement, Canada made no reimburse- 
ment to the United States, which had expended over $100 million on the 
highway construction. Perhaps because of policy considerations that were 
applicable to the northern airfields settlement as a whole, Canada had 
already elected to bring the eight flight strips of the highway project under 
the airfields settlement. Accordingly, the United States was reimbursed 
$3,262,687 (U.S.) for its expenditures on the strips, which would presum- 
ably have been transferred to Canada gratis had it insisted on the application 
of the original highway agreement. The decision probably reflected, in part, 
the Canadian attitude that the northern airfields would undoubtedly be a 
significant adjunct to the transportation resources of northwest Canada, 
whereas no such general conviction then existed about the highway. 

Although under no legal obligation to do so, Canada decided to continue 
to maintain the highway, which was part of the road net redesignated the 
Northwest Highway System. The Canadian Army was assigned the main- 
tenance responsibility for the system, and it established an organization with 
headquarters at Whitehorse for the purpose. In December 1946 the Cana- 
dian Government decided against further work and maintenance on the 

26 EAS, 246; CTS, 1942, No. 13. 

"EAS, 381; CTS, 1942, No. 26, and EAS, 382; CTS, 1942, No. 21. 



Haines cutoff road, although it proceeded to consult with the United States 
as to its view in the matter. 28 

The other major unilateral U.S. undertaking in Canada, the Canol 
Project, had also been covered by special disposal arrangements embodied in 
the original agreement authorizing the project. This agreement had pro- 
vided that on the termination of hostilities the pipeline and refinery should 
be appraised at their current commercial value by two appraisers, one selected 
by each country, and by an umpire to resolve disagreement if necessary. If 
the Canadian Government did not act within three months to purchase the 
facilities, they were to be offered for sale to private companies with the 
appraised value as the reserve price. In the event that no private company 
desired to purchase the facilities, their disposition was to be referred to the 
Permanent Joint Board on Defense for recommendation. That body was 
also to be consulted in the event either government wished to dismantle the 
facilities, or to allow them to be dismantled. 29 

As agreements were reached for the construction of the supplementary 
Canol facilities, somewhat more flexible disposal provisions were incorpo- 
rated. These arrangements provided only that, upon termination of hostilities, 
either government could initiate discussions with a view to agreeing to the 
manner of disposition of the supplementary facilities, which comprised the 
Prince Rupert storage and loading facilities and the Skagway-Whitehorse, 
Carcross- Watson Lake, and Whitehorse-Fairbanks distribution pipelines. 
As with the basic project, no dismantlement of the facilities was to be per- 
mitted unless the Permanent Joint Board recommended such action. 30 

The first step in disposing of U.S. Canol installations was taken in April 
1944 when the United States negotiated a new contract with the Imperial 
Oil Company, which was accepted by the two governments in an exchange 
of notes in June. Under the new contract the United States transferred to 
the Imperial Oil Company all its facilities, movable and immovable, together 
with all equipment, machinery, and spare parts in the Norman Wells area 
and along the Mackenzie River valley transportation routes to that area. 31 

When hostilities terminated, Canada displayed no interest in acquiring 
the refinery and pipeline installations of the Canol Project, whose wartime 
utility had been questioned and whose peacetime capabilities were far in 
excess of foreseeable needs. As a means of simplifying disposal of the Canol 

28 House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Alaska Study Mission, Committee Print (Washing- 
ton: Government Printing Office, 1948), p. 7. See also H. C. Debates, 13 Mar 47, 'p. 1326, 
and 17 Mar 47, p. 1409. 

» EAS, 386; CTS, 1942, No. 23. 

50 EAS, 387; CTS, 1942, No. 24, and EAS. 416: CTS . 1944, No. 16. 

EAS, 416; CTS, 1944, No. 16. See also Ch. VIII 




facilities at Prince Rupert, the United States suggested in December 1945 
that they be treated together with the Prince Rupert port and staging facili- 
ties, which were being processed under the Thirty-third Recommendation 
and without reference to the Permanent Joint Board. Canada agreed to 
this proposal. 32 

The remaining Canol facilities were not to be disposed of so easily. 
Operation of the refinery and the crude-oil line from Norman Wells had 
been discontinued in March 1945. The United States, desiring to dispose 
of facilities no longer needed, proposed in February 1945 that the two gov- 
ernments proceed with the appraisal of the commercial value of the facilities, 
as had been contemplated in the initial agreement on the Canol Project. 
Canada agreed to the proposal, and the substantial task of inventory, inspec- 
tion, and appraisal was begun. 33 However, by midsummer the Canadian 
Government had concluded that it did not desire to exercise its option to 
purchase the facilities. It consequently suggested to the United States that, 
since a joint appraisal no longer appeared useful, plans for continuing this 
appraisal should be dropped. Canada also waived the provision that would 
then have offered the facilities for sale to private companies with the ap- 
praised value as a reserve price. In taking these actions Canada expressed 
the hope that they would aid in the disposition of the Canol facilities. 34 
On 30 June 1946 the last facility of the project still in use, the Skagway- 
Whitehorse-Fairbanks distribution line, was placed in a nonoperating 
standby status. But neither this nor the Watson Lake distribution pipeline 
had yet been declared surplus, so that the only facilities in the surplus cate- 
gory were the refinery and the crude-oil pipeline from Norman Wells. As 
of 30 June 1946, no disposition of any of the Canol facilities, other than 
those at Prince Rupert, had been arranged. 

In November the United States presented new proposals to facilitate the 
disposal operation: 

a. Since the facilities no longer had defense value, any restrictions as to 
dismantlement should be lifted. 

b. Canada should guarantee such riparian and other rights as might be 
required by a purchaser for operation of the facilities and waive payment of 
duties and taxes by a purchaser. 

c. The United States or a purchaser could remove any of the facilities 
from Canada. 

i2 TIAS, 1565; CTS, 1946, No. 1. See above, |pp. 325-291 As a matter of fact, the five 
storage tanks had been removed by the United States in November 1944, leaving only the load- 
ing dock and other minor facilities. 

"TIAS, 1695; CTS, 1945, No. 3. 

"TIAS, 1696. 



d. Any facilities not disposed of during a two-year period following 
agreement on the proposals could be left in place and considered as of no 

Canada agreed to the proposals, which were made effective 1 March 1947." 
Armed with the proposals, the United States, which had by this time con- 
cluded that dismantlement would be necessary to obtain the maximum 
monetary return, proceeded energetically through its Foreign Liquidation 
Commissioner to arrange a disposition. 36 

In August 1947 the refinery and related equipment at Whitehorse, having 
an original materiel cost of approximately $6 million, were sold to the 
Imperial Oil Company, Limited, of Toronto, for $1 million. In November 
the crude-oil pipeline between Norman Wells and the refinery, the parallel 
telephone line, and road-repair equipment scattered along the pipeline were 
sold for $700,000 to the L. B. Foster Company of Pittsburgh and the Albert 
and Davidson Corporation of New York City. 37 

The distribution pipelines from Skagway to Fairbanks and Watson Lake 
remained under the ownership of the U.S. Government, without being de- 
clared surplus. In fact, as the other Canol dispositions were being com- 
pleted, postwar requirements for fuel deliveries to Alaska began to increase 
and to justify restoration of the Skagway-Fairbanks pipeline to operational 
status, which was later done. 38 

One transaction remained to complete the disposal settlements. Under 
the Thirty-third Recommendation, quantities of surplus movable property 
had been transferred to Canada for sale by the War Assets Corporation and 
reimbursement to the United States. Negotiations throughout most of 1948 
to settle this account were finally completed as of 31 December. Under the 
settlement, Canada paid $576,562 for property sold for the United States 
and purchased a small unsold residue for an additional $4,437. 39 

The final balance sheet for the government-to-government transactions, 
exclusive of the foregoing final settlement follows: 40 

"TIAS, 1697; CTS. 1946, No. 41. 

"•Department of State Bulletin, February 9- 1947, XVI, 256. 

>7 H. C. Debates. 18 Feb 48, pp. 1348-49; House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Alaska 
Study Mission, p. 10. 

,s H. C. Debates, 18 Feb 48, p. 1439; Department of the Army Press Release, 21 Jan 48. 

,9 Report to Congress on Foreign Surplus Disposal, January 1948, p. 23, and January 1949. p. 
16; TIAS, 2352; CTS, 1949, No. 16. 

40 Report to Congress on Foreign Surplus Disposal. April 1946. pp. 20-21, and July 1946, pp. 
25-26. On the basis of the tabulated data, these and other of the quarterly reports cite a 
return on the order of 40 percent of the cost value of the surplus property. However, if the 
airfields settlement under which Canada voluntarily paid 100 percent of the cost of permanent 
facilities is extracted, it would appear that the return in the negotiated settlements was on the 
order of 13 percent for these transactions. 



Original Paid by 

Transaction Cost Canada 

Total $211,320,000 $93,061,000 

The northern airfields settlement 90,683,000 76,811,000 

Thirty-third Recommendation transactions 

Army-Navy Liquidation Commissioner 22,696,000 1,251,000 

Foreign Liquidation Commissioner 39,034,000 2,999,000 

30 March 1946 bulk transaction 58,907,000 12,000,000 

All in all, the disposal operation was carried out to the satisfaction of 
both countries. All U.S.-built or -financed installations were transferred to 
Canadian control or otherwise disposed of by the United States in a manner 
that with minor exceptions eliminated the United States as a titleholder to 
real property and facilities in Canada. Through the disposals and settle- 
ments Canada acquired numerous airfields, structures, and facilities, in some 
instances at only a fraction of their original cost. These capital acquisitions 
represented a substantial augmentation of the transportation and other 
resources of northern Canada. The United States also fared well in that it 
obtained reimbursement on a larger scale than had been anticipated under 
the original authorizing agreements. 

The 12 February 1947 Statement 

The collapse of Hitler's Germany in May 1945 signaled the approach of 
a new phase in the military co-operation between the United States and 
Canada. Japan had yet to be defeated, but plans for the final operations 
against Japan were in an advanced state of preparation. And, as the war 
entered its closing stages, it was apparent that it would be necessary to de- 
termine the nature and scope of postwar military co-operation between the 
two countries. Yet the new situation and the requirements for co-operation 
in the posthostilities period had not been examined, either by the Perma- 
nent Joint Board on Defense or by any other official machinery. Such an 
examination soon became a matter for active consideration by the Board. 

At the June 1945 Permanent Joint Board meeting, not long after V-E 
Day, General Henry, the Senior U.S. Army Member, outlined his views of 
the future of defense collaboration. To General Henry, who as a result of 
his additional responsibilities in the field of military co-operation between 
the United States and the American republics had had considerable experi- 
ence with the difficulties stemming from the great diversity of types of 
materiel, organizational and training methods, and the like, it appeared that 
Canada should become a member of the "military family of American na- 
tions" envisaged in the Act of Chapultepec. Although he recognized that 
Canadian public opinion might not yet be ready for postwar steps toward 



standardization of Canadian and U.S. forces and that Canada's Common- 
wealth ties presented complications, General Henry felt that such steps 
would have inescapable merit and should be explored. He also recom- 
mended that the Board examine the continuing value to continental defense 
of the facilities developed in northwest Canada during the war. 41 

General Henry's presentation provided the springboard for a full discus- 
sion of these problems at the next meeting of the Permanent Joint Board, 
held in early September soon after the Japanese surrender. On this occa- 
sion, the personal and tentative views of the Canadian Section of the Board 
on the points raised by General Henry were in turn outlined and discussed. 
As for Canadian participation in inter-American military collaboration, this 
appeared to be, in the Canadian view, a political question. As to north- 
west Canada, many of the facilities developed there would certainly have 
some continuing defense value, the extent of which would be apparent when 
a military estimate of the situation for northern North America could be 

In the view of the Canadian Section, as outlined by General A. G. L. 
McNaughton who had succeeded Mr. Biggar as Canadian chairman, a real 
case for standardization of materiel and organization between the forces of 
the two countries could not be made. On the other hand, standardization 
as well as fuller co-ordination of military supply operations between the 
United States and the British Commonwealth as a whole would be a sub- 
stantial step toward the common security and international peace. Canada 
would in the future exert such influence as it could to that end. Thus the 
Canadian Section made explicitly clear that the dual and sometimes 
dichotomous position of Canada as a North American state and as a mem- 
ber of the British Commonwealth would continue to be a factor to be taken 
into account. 

On one point the two sections of the Board were agreed. The authors 
of the Ogdensburg Declaration had used the term "permanent" in the title 
of the Board advisedly. Military co-operation should be continued within 
the framework of that declaration. There was no reason why a new appre- 
ciation or estimate of the joint defense situation should not be prepared as a 
step preliminary to revising ABC-22, the basic defense plan, to meet the 
requirements of the new situation. The Canadian Section suggested that the 
chiefs of staff of the two countries might on some occasion meet to survey 
the situation. 42 

Although the Canadian response indicated some receptivity to the pro- 

41 The memorandums are appended to the Journal, 4-5 Sep 45 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 
"Journal, 4-5 Sep 45 PJBD meeting, PDB 124. 



posals of the U.S. members of the Board, its tone was cautious and deliberate. 
Nevertheless, the designation of General McNaughton to chair the Canadian 
Section of the Board indicated that Canada did not expect the Board to lapse 
into a subsidiary role. With the addition of this eminent and experienced 
soldier-statesman-scientist, the Canadian Section was prepared to deal with 
the highest questions of politico-military policy. 

On the U.S. side, the proposal to revise ABC-22, the 1941 plan that had 
met adequately the requirements of World War II, received the approval 
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In examining the procedure for drafting the new 
estimate of the situation (appreciation, in Canadian parlance) which would 
provide the basis for drafting the new joint defense plan, the Permanent 
Joint Board on Defense and chiefs of staff of both countries felt that the 
former needed to be supplemented by a similar body on the service level. 
Whereas the Board, responsible to the President and Prime Minister, was a 
suitable forum for policy deliberations, a mechanism more closely tied in 
with the defense departments was needed to co-ordinate the increased amount 
of consideration that would be necessary. Accordingly, a Military Co-opera- 
tion Committee was established in February 1946 comprising representatives 
of the service departments, but also including officers from the Departments 
of State and External Affairs, and, in addition, the Secretary of the Canadian 
Cabinet Defense Committee. The sections of the Military Co-operation 
Committee were made responsible to their respective chiefs of staff. Day- 
to-day liaison between service authorities was to be maintained through the 
service attaches in the two capitals and the Canadian Joint Staff in Wash- 
ington, which continued to operate in the postwar period. 43 

At its very first meeting, held in Washington 20-23 May 1946, the Mili- 
tary Co-operation Committee considered drafts of (a) a study of the require- 
ments for Canadian-U.S. security and (b) a security plan. During the course 
of succeeding months these documents were finalized and approved and sub- 
sidiary plans initiated. These plans were undertaken under the guidance 
of the Military Co-operation Committee as part of its assigned responsibility 
of preparing, continuously revising, and submitting recommendations for 
implementation of the basic security plan and its subsidiary plans. 44 

Concurrently with this joint strategic planning, the earliest measures of 
practical postwar collaboration were being taken. Exercise Muskox, the 
movement of a mechanized force some 3,000 miles through Arctic Canada 

41 JCS 1541, approved 19 Oct 45; Canada, Department of National Defense, Canada's De- 
fense Program (Ottawa: E. Cloutier, King's Printer, 1949), p. 38. 

44 U.S. Department of Defense, Organization Manual, Office of the Secretary of Defense 
(Washington: 1952, Processed.), p. 11.15. 



during the early months of 1946, was carried out with participation of U.S. 
observers and use of some U.S. materiel. The experience and test observa- 
tions obtained on all equipment were made equally available to both coun- 
tries. During the same period experiments authorized by Canada were car- 
ried out by U.S. B-29 aircraft over Arctic Canada in the use of the loran 
(long range) radio navigation system, which was similar to that which had 
been used so successfully over ocean areas during the war. 45 

Although the mutuality of the security problem common to the two 
countries appeared to justify such joint measures, military co-operation with 
the United States had not yet become a clear-cut facet of contemporary Cana- 
dian foreign policy. This policy was fundamentally one of full support for 
the search for security through the United Nations, and one of minimizing 
bilateral or multilateral regional arrangements as detracting from the maxi- 
mum potential of the United Nations for peace. However, during the im- 
mediate postwar period, this policy was implemented not actively but 
passively, and until early 1947 Canada played a retiring role on the inter- 
national stage. 

During 1946 the United States and the USSR came to be increasingly 
recognized as the protagonists and antipoles of a developing bipolar world 
situation. A significant body of Canadian public opinion was expressing the 
view that it was unwise for Canada to act jointly with the United States in 
measures that might antagonize the USSR. This view had received expres- 
sion as early as December 1943 at the Montebello Conference of the Cana- 
dian Institute of International Affairs, when a substantial number of those 
present felt that Canada should abandon the Permanent Joint Board in the 
postwar period as constituting an irritant in relations with the USSR. 46 
Canadian attitudes in the postwar period on this point were not improved 
by occasional injudicious press releases on the part of the U.S. military serv- 
ices in connection with their activities in Canada. 

Nevertheless, the undeniable merit and self-evident necessity of further 
military co-operation prompted official approval of continuing forward plan- 
ning and modest steps in that direction. As joint strategic planning got 
under way, the Permanent Joint Board began to consider the areas in which 
postwar collaboration might be useful, together with the adequacy of the 
existing mechanisms for that purpose. A recommendation by the Perma- 

45 For a full account of actions in the field of defense co-operation in the period immedi- 
ately after V-J Day, see F. H. Soward, Canada in World Affairs, IV, From Normandy to Paris, 
1944-1946 (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1950), Ch. IX. 

46 Grant Dexter, Canada and the Building of Peace (Toronto: Canadian Institute of Inter- 
national Affairs, 1944), pp. 165-67. 



nent Joint Board on the principles for continuation of defense collaboration 
was first considered at the 29 April 1946 Board meeting. During the ensuing 
months the statement of principles was reviewed and revised, emerging on 
20 November as the Board's Thirty-sixth Recommendation. Not long after- 
ward, the approval of the two governments was made known through the 
release on 12 February 1947 of an agreed statement. The release declared 
that limited defense collaboration based on the following principles had been 

a. Interchange of personnel. 

b. Co-operation in maneuver exercises and development and tests of 
new materiel. 

c. Encouragement of standardization. 

d. Reciprocal availability of military facilities. 

e. No impairment of control by each country over all activities in its 
own territory. 47 

Although the principles established could be utilized to provide a basis 
for broad co-operation, their wording indicated that such broad co-operation 
could develop only within the limits and restrictions that either country 
might wish to impose. On the Canadian side particularly, these limitations 
provided a flexibility that might be used to meet the needs of the domestic 
and international situations. In presenting the arrangement to be House 
of Commons, Prime Minister King pointed out that collaboration of this 
type had long existed between the nations of the British Commonwealth 
and that Canada's geographical position made it important that such meas- 
ures should be undertaken with both the United States and the United 
Kingdom. 48 

The U.S.-Canadian Military Co-operation Committee established a year 
earlier became the principal mechanism for co-ordinating the actions worked 
out pursuant to the principles of the 12 February 1947 statement. By this 
time the revised estimate of the situation and the new security plan had been 
completed and the committee was able to relate the practical measures to 
be taken to the detailed requirements, immediate and longer term, that 
emerged from the plan. These arrangements proved eminently suitable in 
the light of the contemporary international climate. In addition, they pro- 
vided a flexibility that allowed for increasing amounts of collaboration as the 
two countries began to accept the inescapable conclusion that the Soviet 

47 Full text at |Appendix E,| below. 

48 H. C. Debates, 12 Feb 47, pp. 345-48. 



strategy left no alternative but to broaden the defensive collaboration de- 
signed to guard North America from Soviet aggression. 

The Lessons of World War II 

With the Allied victory in World War II important changes took place 
in the power positions of the major nations of the world. The two lead- 
ing members of the World War II Axis were for the time being eliminated 
from their positions as foremost military powers. The USSR emerged as 
the unchallenged single contender against the United States for primacy as 
the world's most powerful nation. The United States and Canada, despite 
substantial expenditures of men and treasure, came out of World War II 
stronger and more vigorous than ever. Other nations, such as the United 
Kingdom and France, lost in relative power and position. Technological 
advances, particularly in the fields of electronics and weapons such as the 
atomic bomb, made far-reaching changes in the military capabilities of the 
world's powers. But other fundamental factors changed little or not at all. 

A salient feature of the relation between the United States and Canada 
during World War II was the wide disparity in their resources in manpower, 
material, and productive capacity. From this disparity often flowed U.S. 
notions that the needs of the United States should be accepted without chal- 
lenge since the U.S. interests at stake were so much greater, and that the 
U.S. view should predominate when differences arose. Such a position would 
of course be unacceptable to the smaller of any pair of sovereign states pro- 
fessing adherence to the tenets of international law. And Canada was free to 
take an unyielding and divergent stand because it was secure in the knowl- 
edge that the United States would never, except under near-catastrophic cir- 
cumstances, employ forces to impose its will. So long as Canada could, in 
the given situation, withstand the political, economic, and psychological 
pressures that might be applied, it remained a free agent. 

On the other hand, where Canada was the seeker its relative size left it 
in a poor bargaining position. Canadian efforts to gain a stronger place in 
the war councils, for example, could only be successful to the extent that 
the United States, in consultation with the United Kingdom, would allow. 
In the case of a problem relating to one of the major war theaters, the Cana- 
dian position was even weaker, for the United States considered the United 
Kingdom to be the principal partner and Canada only a subsidiary of the 
partner. This stemmed from Canada's position in the British Common- 
wealth, in which the United Kingdom was exercising war leadership not 
only because of its historical and material pre-eminence but also because the 
events of the war had placed it in the most forward positions on the diplo- 



matic and military fronts. Canada's relative size and resources also made 
it dependent on the United States or the United Kingdom for the supply of 
much of the materiel with which to equip Canadian forces and for equip- 
ment to expand its production base. Finally, the disproportion between the 
war efforts of the two North American partners sometimes provided occasion 
for query whether the junior partner was pulling its weight, and for em- 
barrassment in instances where Canadian lack of skills or other resources 
necessitated a one-sided effort in a project of joint interest. 

A second major element of the Canadian experience in North American 
co-operation in World War II was the extent of the U.S. intrusion on Cana- 
dian soil in an area remote from the combat theaters and peopled by Cana- 
dians engaged in reasonably normal pursuits. The substantial U.S. garrison 
operated in Canada independently of Canadian control and legal jurisdiction 
to an extent considered unwarranted by many Canadians. This garrison con- 
structed, maintained, and operated bases and facilities as if they were on U.S. 
soil. Command organizations with their independent signal communications 
systems were established over segments of Canadian territory. Strenuous U.S. 
efforts were made to have Canadian forces placed under U.S. command on 
Canadian soil. All these arrangements presented to Canadians serious ques- 
tions of domestic policy, which were aggravated by sundry accompanying 
complications— occasional lapses of soldier discipline that outraged the Cana- 
dian citizenry, competition for scarce housing and rationed supplies, and con- 
cern as to whether U.S. commercial construction, air transport, and similar 
enterprises might not gain a postwar advantage. Too often it seemed to 
Canadians that U.S. requests for arrangements that resulted in these intru- 
sions into Canada, as well as U.S. motivations in other dealings, were based 
exclusively on military requirements, without adequate consideration of the 
political factors involved. 

A perennial state of affairs that conditioned the nature of the U.S.-Canadian 
relationship was the common amiable ignorance and disinterest on the part 
of Americans toward Canada. The impact of this ranged from the annoying, 
when exhibited by individuals in responsible positions, to the serious. There 
were surely many Americans who failed, or perhaps chose not, to understand 
that Prime Minister Churchill could in no wise speak for the Canadian Gov- 
ernment, and that Canada was fully autonomous and coequal with the United 
Kingdom within the British Commonwealth. Lack of understanding of the 
nature of the British Commonwealth, of the nature of the Canadian Con- 
federation, and of some Canadian historical, geographical, and similar back- 
ground could not fail to introduce errors, discords, or irritations in the policy 



consideration or operational handling of problems concerning U.S. activities 
in Canada. Too frequently, such lapses were compounded by an ineptitude 
on the part of U.S. officials in even the highest positions who violated the 
basic rules of the "how to win friends and influence people" technique. 

A basic factor influencing postwar U.S. -Canadian military collaboration 
was the impact of advanced weapons and techniques on the Canadian "priv- 
ileged sanctuary" position. By the end of World War II the development 
of aircraft, guided missiles, submarine warfare, airborne techniques, and the 
atomic weapons had advanced warfare to the threshold of a new era. In this 
new era North America ceased to be relatively immune from assault from 
other continents. The H-Hour ground assault in Europe could be matched 
by an H-Hour atomic bombing of Detroit and Windsor or of Washington 
and Ottawa. The mastery of the Atlantic and Pacific and the barrenness of 
the Arctic no longer prevented penetration of these barriers, and their value 
as buffers of time and space had been drastically reduced. 

Under these circumstances the utilization of North American resources 
for and the role of Canada in the defense of the Western Hemisphere as a 
whole, within the framework of a joint U.S. -Canadian arrangement, assumed 
increasing importance to Canada. For some time before it entered World 
War II the United States had a well-developed interest in the defense 
of Latin America and visualized the danger of military action there as greater 
than in North Atlantic territories such as Newfoundland, Greenland, and 
Iceland. After Pearl Harbor the United States allocated substantial mili- 
tary resources to several of the larger Latin American nations. To Canada, 
the U.S. preoccupation with Latin America and use of resources there prob- 
ably did not appear warranted by the military situation. Canada learned, 
too, that dependence on sources of military equipment outside of Canada 
made dubious the availability of essential supplies in an extreme emergency, 
such as that resulting from the 1940 German blitzkrieg, when the sources 
of military equipment for Canada dried up. 

Theoretically, two choices were available to Canada in 1940: it could 
attempt to become self-sufficient in military supplies; or, it could continue 
to draw upon outside sources for certain items. Within the production base 
established in Canada by the end of World War II, the first choice might 
have been feasible. But in 1940, as a practical matter, it was out of the ques- 
tion, and Canada necessarily elected the second choice. In fact, in the work- 
ing out of the Hyde Park Declaration, Canada strove for adoption and im- 
plementation of a concept under which Canada and the United States would 
correlate their production programs so that each would be completely de- 



pendent upon the other for items assigned each country for production. Such 
an arrangement visualized a balanced mobilization effort with joint produc- 
tion collaboration in the interest of efficient specialization and would, in effect, 
have bound Canada and the United States into a closely integrated security 
union at least for the duration of the war. 

Actually, the arrangement as conceived by Canada was never carried out. 
The United States strove to develop the production capacity needed to sup- 
ply at least some of its requirement of all items, and it utilized Canadian 
capacity quantitatively to agument its supply of selected items. Canada also 
departed from the Hyde Park concept. Although it purchased much of its 
military materiel from the United States and the United Kingdom, Canada 
broadened its production base and technical know-how until it was produc- 
ing items in almost every category of military equipment. But with the end 
of World War II, Canada still remained faced with the question of how it 
should plan to procure its military equipment in peace and in war, and from 
what countries the equipment not manufactured in Canada should be procured. 

The failure on the part of the United States to take into account political, 
psychological, economic, and similar factors in dealing with problems relat- 
ing to Canada made for decisions and actions that were not always in the 
best U.S. or joint interest. Two examples were the questions relating to 
unified command and to the Canadian staff mission in Washington. This 
failure was a basic weakness in the over-all U.S. politico-military conduct of 
its relations with Canada in World War II. 

More problems would have arisen had it not been for the civilian chair- 
manship of the two sections of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense. This 
arrangement interposed a civilian between the military of either section and 
the other government and its Permanent Joint Board representation. Prop- 
erly selected civilians were competent to act as interpreters and moderators 
of the needs of their military colleagues and to insure that some account was 
taken of political and other nonmilitary factors. The civilian chairmen could 
thus make a useful contribution toward seeing that project requirements were 
brought within the limits of feasibility. In addition to exerting a moderat- 
ing influence on the military of his own section, each chairman was in a 
better position than the military to press the other section harder for accept- 
ance of some project in terms of the nonmilitary as well as the military 

On the other hand, it does not appear from the World War II record 
that the civilian chairmen of the Permanent Joint Board and other civilian 
leaders were more inclined than military leaders to commit the two coun- 



tries to intimate collaboration. To be sure, the basic impetus to U.S. -Cana- 
dian military collaboration was given by the civilian heads of the govern- 
ments when they joined in making the Ogdensburg Declaration. But in 
practice thereafter civilian officials took the lead in pushing only one major 
project, the plan backed by Canada for co-ordinated North American aviation 
training, and then with only indifferent success. 

The record of U.S. -Canadian wartime military collaboration shows that 
the Permanent Joint Board on Defense established at Ogdensburg proved 
useful beyond the expectations of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister 
King. It was born more out of political considerations than of military 
necessity, at least from the U.S. point of view, for neither the War nor the 
Navy Department was consulted before its establishment, nor had either de- 
partment indicated a need for such a body. Nevertheless, the Board proved 
itself an excellent forum for a continuous and informal exchange of views 
and exploration of common problems, as well as for the conduct of broad 
studies as contemplated by Roosevelt and King. Through the give-and-take 
and mutual confidence that marked the functioning of the Board, many prob- 
lems were solved harmoniously and effectively. Moreover, the Board be- 
came useful in handling the day-to-day operational details of a large number 
of field projects, thereby performing an essential staff function not otherwise 
provided for. 

The problem of integration of the intricate pattern of U.S. activities in 
Canada and of their co-ordination with the Canadian authorities was a per- 
sistent thorn. By dint of continuing adjustment of such organizations as 
were established, and of extensive liaison between the Canadian and U.S. 
officials concerned, the problem was kept within manageable bounds. It 
had several aspects. The foci of the co-ordinating authorities for the nu- 
merous U.S. activities in Canada were in Washington and not only physically 
removed from Canada but also separated by several echelons of command. 
At few if any of these levels was there an adequate appreciation of Canadian 
political and other problems that should have been taken into account in 
reaching decisions and molding troop attitudes. 

For lack of better machinery, the Permanent Joint Board on Defense came 
to have a substantial operational function in the co-ordination of arrange- 
ments between the two countries and among the various U.S. agencies in- 
volved. The scope of this function was limited, since the U.S. Section could 
exercise no command authority. Nevertheless, in handing a multitude of 
routine and administrative details, the Board seemed to fill an essential need 
in providing some co-ordinated direction to the U.S. projects in Canada. 



The Canadian Government, too, experienced such a need and met it by 
creating the office of Special Commissioner for Defense Projects in North- 
western Canada. Except in the area of major policy, his office provided a 
Canadian focal point for that part of Canada in the co-ordination of matters 
of joint interest. This experience suggests that the establishment of a U.S. 
theater-type headquarters, charged with the conduct of all U.S. activities in 
Canada and Newfoundland, would have been very useful to both countries. 
Such a headquarters could have dealt with a single Canadian commissioner 
for defense projects, and could have provided integrated direction to and 
supervision of the U.S. activities. 

An alternate solution might have been the establishment of a joint U.S- 
Canadian theater-type headquarters, with appropriately balanced representa- 
tion from both countries. Such a headquarters, located in or near Ottawa, 
would have provided a single focus of policy and operational control for the 
related U.S. and Canadian activities in Canada. Such integrated direction 
would have made these activities more responsive to the requirements, mili- 
tary and otherwise, of the situation on a continuous basis and would have 
provided a ready means for joint review of project requirements and imple- 
mentation of programs. Some faltering steps were taken in this direction. 
From the Canadian point of view, there were probably as good arguments 
against as for such an arrangement. On the U.S. side, the many agencies 
operating in the field in Canada were naturally content without the inter- 
position of such an authority over them. That the need for such a head- 
quarters did not become urgent was probably only the result of the fact that, 
except in a narrow sense in Newfoundland, the wartime activities in Canada 
were all of a logistical and not an operational nature. And, although the 
conduct of those activities involved co-operation between the two countries, 
the majority thereof were fundamentally unilateral U.S. projects, rather than 
joint ones in the sense that they were jointly developed and executed to meet 
a common requirement. 

The foregoing conclusions tend somewhat to obscure the full compass 
of the successful collaboration between the two countries and should not 
be allowed to do so. For both Canadians and the Americans stationed in 
Canadian territory the situation was sometimes an awkward one. Both were 
serving the war effort of their countries, yet within the sphere of their ac- 
tivities, they were far removed from the battle fronts. The many engineer- 
ing works of permanent value carried out through joint efforts give ample 
testimony to the success of wartime military co-operation. 

There were other and more significant accomplishments that were realized 



through the efforts of the two partners. Canada is today on the threshold 
of becoming a world power. In part this emergence is due to the tremen- 
dous postwar development of Canadian natural wealth and resources. This 
development undoubtedly received a major stimulus during World War II 
as a result of the extensive U.S. operations in Canada, which broadened the 
knowledge of Canada's northern territories, improved the transportation facil- 
ities there, and opened up areas that had been infrequently penetrated by 
white man. Canada's productive capacity received a substantial boost from 
the Hyde Park Declaration, which not only generated a flow of orders but 
collaterally provided for Canadian acquisition of the machine tools and other 
equipment necessary to fill those orders. 

The United States, and to a lesser extent Canada, can take credit for the 
economic rehabilitation of Newfoundland. In addition, as the question of 
Newfoundland's political future came to the forefront, the United States and 
U.S. officials maintained a perfectly correct attitude. Canada was prepared 
to welcome Newfoundland to the Canadian Confederation. In Newfound- 
land, there was sentiment for union with the United States, which had been 
the major fountainhead of its economic well-being, as well as for union with 
Canada. In no way did Americans try to influence public opinion or take 
a part in the solution of the problem, which was resolved in favor of admis- 
sion of Newfoundland to Canada as a new province. 

The history of wartime collaboration between the United States and 
Canada was a record of solid accomplishment with only minor notes of dis- 
cord. The best testimony to the success of Canadian-U.S. wartime military 
co-operation is the fact that both countries were prepared, in the immediate 
postwar period when peace appeared to be a reality and demobilization was 
proceeding apace, to continue their military co-operation on a revitalized 

Appendix A 

Recommendations of the Permanent Joint Board on 
Defense, Canada-United States, 26 August 1940- 
1 September 1945 1 


Exchange of Information 

It was agreed that there should be a full and complete exchange of military, air and 
naval information between the two Sections of the Board, with the understanding that 
each Section would be free to convey to its government any information they received. 

Action by U.S. Government: There appears to be no specific evidence in the files of the U.S. 
Section of approving or disapproving action. However, in the Progress Reports annexed to the 
Journal of Discussions and Decisions for the 20 21 January 1941 and subsequent meetings, mem- 
bers of the U.S. Section of the Board reported on the progress of action under this recommendation. 
It is apparent that at least informal approval was implied, or that approval had been taken for 
granted. This lack of evidence may be accounted for by the fact that the board at its early meet- 
ings attacked a large number of substantive problems without concerning itself adequately with 
procedural and administrative problems. 

Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 5 September 1940. 2 


Defense of Newfoundland 

A. The Island of Newfoundland occupies a commanding position at the entrance of the 
St. Lawrence-Great Lakes waterway and on the flank of the sea route between the Atlantic 
seaboard of North America and Northern Europe. It is on the direct air route between 
the East Coast of the United States and Northern Europe. It is the point in North 
America, nearest to Europe, from which, if occupied by an enemy, further operations 
against the North American continent might be effectively initiated. As such it should 
be adequately defended. 

B. The forces in Newfoundland now consist of one battalion of infantry for the defense 
of Botwood and the Newfoundland airport, a battery of two 4.7-inch guns now being 

' Texts of recommendations and daces on which they were made are to be found in the 
appropriate Journal of Discussions and Decisions for the meeting held on the date indicated. 
These journals are to be found in file PDB 124. 

2 Memo, Secy, U.S. Section, for Acting Chairman, U.S. Section, 12 Dec 51, PDB 124-1. 
This list tabulates the dates of approval of the various recommendations by both governments 
as determined through a co-ordinated study made by the two secretaries in 1951 of the files 
kept since 1940. It is hereafter cited as the 12 Dec 51 List. At least in regard to action by 
the U.S. Government, this list is not always accurate, and it is cited only when more authorita- 
tive data could not be found. 



installed at Bell Island, and a flight of five Digby (Douglas) land planes operating from 
Newfoundland airport. These forces are considered inadequate for the defense of the 
island at the present time and the security of Canada and the United States is thereby 

C. The Board considers that the defense of Newfoundland should be materially strength- 
ened by: 

(a) Increasing the strength of the Canadian defensive garrisons immediately; 

(b) Establishing as soon as practicable, and not later than the spring of 1941, a force 
of aircraft of suitable types adequate for patrolling the seaward approaches to New- 
foundland and Canada and for the local defense of the Botwood area; 

(c) Selecting and preparing, as soon as practicable, bases permitting the operation of 
United States aircraft, when and if circumstances require, in numbers as follows: 

(1) A minimum of four squadrons of patrol planes (48 planes). 

(2) A minimum of one composite group of land planes (73 planes). 

(d) Completing, as early as practicable, and not later than the spring of 1941, the in- 
stallation of appropriate defense for the port of St. John's, Newfoundland, for 
Botwood, and for other points as required. 

(e) Taking such additional measures as further examination of the defense problem 
and local reconnaissance show to be necessary. 

Action by U.S. Government: See comment on First Recommendation. Insofar as portions of the 
first eight recommendations related to troop and materiel dispositions which had not been made by 
2 October 1940, they were approved as a result of their incorporation in the First Report of the 
Board to the two governments. This report, reproduced at Appendix B, received formal approval 
on 19 November 1940. Apparently, because of this action, the 12 December 1951 List arbitrarily 
assigns that date as the date of United States approval of the first eight recommendations. Such 
an assignment is not entirely accurate since the First Report encompassed only limited portions of 
the first eight recommendations. 

Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 5 September 1940.- 


Defense of Maritime Provinces 

A. The strategic importance of the Maritime Provinces is similar to that of Newfound- 
land. However, in addition to providing bases for the operation of aircraft and light 
patrol craft, the Maritime Provinces must provide secure bases from which major naval 
operations can be projected. 

B. This will require harbors secure from underwater attack, with docking, repair and 
supply facilities capable of accommodating the major portion of the United States or 
British fleets; operating facilities for military and naval air forces; and harbor defenses 
supported by the necessary troop concentrations. 

C. The Board finds that some of these requirements have already been met and that steps 
have been initiated for the accomplishment of others. 

D. It is apparent that the following should be undertaken by the Canadian Government: 

(a) Early completion of the present projects for underwater defenses at Halifax, 
Sydney, Gaspe and Shelburne. 

5 12 Dec 51 List. 



(b) Early completion of harbor defenses at these bases. 

(c) Early expansion of aircraft operating facilities to include provision for four squad- 
rons of patrol planes (48 planes) and one composite wing of approximately 200 

(d) Such additional measures as further examination of the defense problem and local 
reconnaissance show to be necessary. 

E. The Board also recommends the preparation in Canada and in the United States of 
adequate strategic reserves of men and materials for timely concentration in the Mari- 
time Provinces if, and when, the need arises. 

Action by U.S. Government: See comments on First and Second Recommendations. Portions of 

this recommendation were included in the First Report. 

Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 5 September 1940. 4 


Allotment of Materials 

It was agreed that arrangements concerted between the United States and Canadian 
representatives of each Service with regard to this material should be passed through the 
proper channels in order that the proper allocation of the material should be promptly 
made. It was further agreed that material provided to implement the recommendations 
of the Board shall not be used for any other purposes. As at present advised, the Board 
regarded the following classes of material as of special importance, their relative import- 
ance being in the order indicated for each Service: 

Ground Forces 

(a) A. A. armament and ammunition. 

(b) Harbor defense armament and ammunition. 

(c) General equipment of mobile defense. 

Air Force 

(a) Patrol planes. 

(b) Fighter or pursuit planes with, in each case, armament, ammunition and radio 

As to the Naval Forces the position as reported was that there have already been dis- 
cussions which have led to arrangements under which it is expected that all present require- 
ments are to be satisfied. These arrangements relate to: 

(a) 4" guns. 

(b) .5 machine guns. 

(c) Destroyers. 

The Board approved of the carrying out of these arrangements for the purpose of the 
attainment of the objects covered on the Board's previous decisions. 

Action by U.S. Government: See comments on First and Second Recommendations. 
Action by Canadian Goverment: Approved, 5 September 1940.'' 


Improving Communications in the Northeast 

That the subject of communications between Newfoundland, the Maritime Provinces, 

4 Ibid. 

5 Ibid. 



Eastern Canada and the United States, is of high importance, the following subjects re- 
quiring to be examined: 

(a) Railway facilities. 

(b) Water transport, 

(c) Roads. 

(d) Air transport and communications. 

That the establishment of additional commercial airways, complete with landing facil- 
ities and aids to air navigation, between these imporrant areas, would be essential to the 
defense plan. 

Action by U.S. Government: See comments on First and Second Recommendations. Portions of 

this recommendation were included in the First Report. 

Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 5 September 1940. h 


Production Data 

That the Service Members undertake to assemble information on the production in 
each country of particular items of military equipment in their respective countries, not 
readily available in the other country, and to exchange information on this subject as data 
becomes available. 

Action by U.S. Government: See comments on First and Second Recommendations. 
Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 5 September 1940." 


Joint Defense Plan 

That the Service Members of the Board should proceed at once with the preparation 
of a detailed permanent plan for the joint defense of Canada and the United States and 
keep the Board informed of the progress of the work. s 

Action by U.S. Government: See comments on First and Second Recommendations. 
Action by Canadian Government: Approved. 5 September 1940. 9 


Defense of Newfoundland 

That the United States initiate as expeditiously as practicable such portions of the 
increased defense of Newfoundland, covered by the Second Recommendation of the Board 
approved in Ottawa on August 26 and 27, as may be found to fall within the limits of 
bases now being acquired by the United States. 

Action by U. S. Government: See comments on First and Second Recommendations. 
Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 7 October 1940.'" 

<• Ibid. 
1 Ibid. 

8 As reproduced here from the journal for the meeting, the recommendation contains the 
word "permanent." All U.S. compilations of Board recommendations omit the word "perma- 
nent," as do the various drafts of the 1940 Plan, which quote the recommendation as a direc- 
tive. This omission probably reflects subsequent informal Board agreement to delete the word 
as inappropriate. Such a plan could hardly have been expected to have been permanent. 

9 12 Dec 51 List. 

10 Ibid. 



German Prisoners 

The Board learned from Messrs. Emerson and Penson that the Government of the 
United Kingdom is now arranging to send approximately one thousand captured German 
airmen to Newfoundland for imprisonment there and that the Newfoundland Govern- 
ment is now beginning the construction of barracks for this purpose about five miles 
inland from the shore of Conception Bay. 

The Board feels strongly that the incarceration of German prisoners in Newfoundland 
would present a serious military hazard which might jeopardize the Defense Scheme for 
Newfoundland which the Board is now preparing and thus menace the safety of Canada 
and the United States. 

In these circumstances, the Board earnestly recommends to the Canadian Government 
that discussions be initiated with the Governments of Newfoundland and the United 
Kingdom with a view to bringing about an alteration in this plan by the diversion of 
these German prisoners to some less dangerous destination. 

Action by U.S. Government: See comment on First Recommendation. 

Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 8 October 1940. 11 The prisoners were diverted to 
a camp in Canada, and this fact was reported at the 20-21 January 1941 meeting. 


Air Staging Facilities— Western Canada 

The Board recommends that, to implement the recommendation contained in its First 
Report to the respective governments regarding the development of air staging facilities 
across Western Canada between the United States and Alaska, suitable landing fields, 
complete with emergency lighting, radio aids, meteorological equipment and limited hous- 
ing for weather, communication, and transient personnel be provided at the earliest pos- 
sible date by Canada at Grand Prairie, Fort St. John, Fort Nelson, Watson Lake, White- 
horse, Prince George and Smithers. 

This development will provide means for rapid movement of light bombers and fighter 
aircraft into Canada, into Centra Alaska via Whitehorse, and into the Ketchikan-Prince 
Rupert area via Smithers and is considered essential to the defense of Western Canada, 
Alaska and the United States. Such means are vital to the effective use in joint conti- 
nental defense of both the rapidly expanding air forces of the United States and the ex- 
tension of air operating facilities in Alaska. 

Action by U.S. Government: See comment on First Recommendation. The First Report of the 
Board, which contained a less detailed recommendation for the develop ment of such facilities, was 
approved by the President on 19 November 1940. (See Appendix B\ ) 

Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 28 January 1941. 12 


Ucluelet Airdrome (Vancouver Island ) 

The Board now recommends that another airdrome be constructed at Ucluelet for the 
following purposes: 

(a) To extend the operational ranges and areas of fighter aircraft and provide more 
advanced defense to our vulnerable positions. 

1 1 lhkt. 

12 Ibid. 



(b) To provide bomber and fighter support to the north airdromes and towards the 
Queen Charlotte Islands and the West Coast up towards Prince Rupert. 

(c) To provide an alternative landing place for bombers and fighters in a very varia- 
ble weather area. 

Action by U.S. Government: See comment on First Recommendation. 
Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 28 January 1941. 1 - 


War Industry Member 

That a war industry member be appointed to the Board by each of the two 

Action by U.S. Government: Approved, 26 December 1940. 14 
Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 20 January 1941 


Sault Ste. Marie 

In view of the vital military importance of the Sault Ste. Marie Canals and the St. 
Mary's River to the defense program of the United States, and the vulnerability of the 
navigation channel, the Board agreed that each Government should constitute a single 
authority to be responsible for the safety of navigation through these waters, and that 
each such authority be clothed with the necessary powers and required to cooperate with 
the other in taking all measures necessary for the purpose. 

Action by U.S. Government: Approved '. 16 

Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 21 March 1941. 11 


United States Air Units for Newfoundland 

That most urgent priority should be given to the provision of facilities for at least 
one United States squadron of patrol planes at Halifax and one United States squadron 
in the Botwood area. 

Action by U.S. Government: No record of action. See comment on the First Recommendation. 
Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 27 March 1941. ]S 


Newfoundland Fuel Storage 

The Board reviewed the problem of fuel supply required for aerial operations from the 
1 ' Ibid. 

14 Memo, SUSAM for Bissell, 26 Dec 40, PDB 100. This recommendation was never 

15 12 Dec 51 List. 

16 On date unknown according to file PDB 124-1. The President on 17 March 1941 issued a 
directive to U.S. executive agencies directing co-operation with the War Department in this 

17 12 Dec 51 List. 
to Ibid. 



Newfoundland Airport and in the Lewisporte-Botwood area. Previous estimates con- 
templated storage for 1,600,000 gallons (of which 600,000 gallons, one month's supply, 
would be located at Newfoundland Airport) premised on continuous supply by rail from 
St. John's. It has now been determined that reliance on continuous rail supply during 
the winter is unsound. Facts were adduced to show that a minimum storage capacity 
of 2,600,000 gallons will be essential before the close of navigation in the Botwood area 
next winter. Discussion clearly exposed the urgency of providing the increase in capacity. 

It was also pointed out that not only is the increase essential for defense operations 
but is equally necessary for overseas ferrying of aircraft. 

It is recommended that Canada provide the increased storage capacity in accordance 
with the responsibility accepted by the Canadian Government. 

It is further recommended that the United States Government assist in the procure- 
ment of the necessary priorities to permit this recommendation to be carried out within 
the time specified. 

Action by U.S. Government: Approved, 22 April 194L 19 
Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 14 May 194L 20 


Rehabilitation of the Newfoundland Railroad 

The Board, after consultation with Newfoundland Commissioner; after determination 
that the present condition and rolling stock (on hand or order) of the Newfoundland 
railroad are barely adequate for civilian requirements; and after full consideration of the 
great urgency of adequate supply prior to the winter of 1941 of United States bases and 
United States forces stationed outside base areas in Newfoundland recommends: 

That the United States procure and retain title to such railroad rolling stock as is 
necessary for its military requirements in Newfoundland including possible operations 
from the Newfoundland Airport. 

That the Newfoundland Government continue to operate the Newfoundland railroad 
and undertake at once the construction of additional facilities and necessary rehabilitation 
of the railroad outside of areas leased to the United States. 

That necessary arrangements for essential financial assistance be immediately worked 
out between the United States and Newfoundland Governments. 

That both Canada and the United States assist in the procurement of the necessary 
priorities required to permit this recommendation to be carried out in the time specified. 

Action by U.S. Government: Approved, 22 April 194l. 2[ 
Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 14 May 1941- 12 


Northwest River Landing Field 

In order to facilitate the ferrying of long and medium range aircraft across the Atlan- 
tic, to enhance the effectiveness of plans for hemisphere defense, to prevent congestion 
at the Newfoundland Airport and to provide greater security for crews and equipment, 
the Board recommends: 

That the Canadian Government should undertake the construction of an air base in 

19 Memo, SUSAM for Brig Maurice Pope, 29 Apr 41, PDB 107-3. 

20 12 Dec 51 List. 

21 Ltr, President to SW, 23 Apr 41, PDB 143-1. 

22 12 Dec 51 List. 



the vicinity of Northwest River, Labrador, and provide the following facilities as quickly 
as possible. 

(a) At least two runways, minimum 150 x 5000 feet, to enable take off and landing 
into prevailing winds. 

(b) Storage facilities for 450,000 gallons aviation gasoline, for 11,250 gallons aviation 
oil, and for other supplies. 

(c) Seven 100 gallon per minute gasoline pumping units for servicing aircraft. 

(d) Technical housing and equipment as follows: 

1. A direction finder station. 

2. An aircraft radio range station. 

3. Instrument landing equipment. 

4. An airways radio station capable of communication with stations in the U.S., 
Canada, Newfoundland, and Greenland and with aircraft in flight, for pur- 
poses of aircraft control, forwarding and receiving weather data and airplane 
movement communications. 

5. A meteorological station. 

6. A maintenance hangar (heated), minimum dimensions 150 x 200 feet. 

(e) Housing for personnel. 

That if the Canadian Government should decide for any reason that it will not under- 
take the desired construction immediately, this decision should be made known at once 
to the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom and Newfoundland and that 
the Government of the United States be invited to provide the necessary facilities in the 
area under reference. 

That Governments of Canada and the United States should cooperate to make provi- 
sion for the necessary priorities to permit the earliest possible completion and that the 
Government undertaking the project should also immediately initiate the necessary meas- 
ures to insure provision of an installation suitable for safe operations from the ice in the 
Northwest River area during the winter of 1941-42. 

Action by U.S. Government: No evidence of approval in U.S. files. 
Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 18 September 1941 - 2i 


Underwater Defenses for Argent ia 

That the United States proceed with the installation of underwater defenses in the 
Argentia-Ship Harbor area. 

Action by U. S. Government: See comment on First Recommendation. 
Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 18 September 1941 - 2A 


Canadian- Alaskan Staging Fields 

On the consideration of the report as to the progress being made with the construc- 
tion of the Canadian Airway between Edmonton and Whitehorse, attention was directed 

"The 12 December 1951 List records 18 September 1941 as the date of Canadian govern- 
mental approval, although approval was given by the Cabinet War Committee on 13 August 

24 12 Dec 51 List. 



to the recent change in the Far Eastern situation the effect of which is to make the com- 
pletion of the airway to Alaska of extreme urgency. It was pointed out that the urgent 
needs for air strength in Alaska may suddenly increase beyond those heretofore antici- 
pated, that the preparation of airdromes in Alaska is being expedited by the United States 
as much as possible, but that large numbers of aircraft if sent there would at present be 
relatively isolated. 

In view of this, the Board decided to invite attention to the fact that the completion 
of both the Canadian and the United States sections of the airway to a point which would 
permit its use at the earliest possible moment had become of extreme importance and to 
recommend that other considerations should give way to that of completing as quickly as 
possible the air route which will permit the rapid reinforcement of the air strength in 

Action by U.S. Government: See comment on First Recommendation. 
Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 18 September 1941. " 


Newfoundland Roads 

(a) That improvement and maintenance of road communications is recognized as essen- 
tial for effective military operations in the defense of Newfoundland. 

(b) That the Newfoundland Government should, without cost to the United States or 
the Canadian Government, make available the rights of way necessary for such roads 
as the United States or the Canadian Governments consider must be constructed for 
military purposes. 

(c) That the United States and Canada should be given the right to construct and main- 
tain such roads as each individually requires in Newfoundland for military purposes 

' without obligation either to construct or maintain any roads. 

(d) That Newfoundland, Canadian and United States vehicles would have use without 
tolls of any roads constructed by the United States or Canada in Newfoundland out- 
side of base areas. 

(e) That all necessary road maintenance in Newfoundland other than as provided for above 
should be a responsibility of the appropriate Newfoundland authorities. 

Action by U.S. Government: See comment on First Recommendation. 
Action by Canadian Government: Approved, 18 September 1941. 26 


Maintenance of Facilities 

Attention was directed to the question of the maintenance of the structures, etc., pro- 
vided by Canada at Gander Lake for occupation by United States Forces and it was recog- 
nized that the course of events may make it convenient to permit the use by United States 
Forces of like facilities in both Newfoundland and Canada and also permit the use of 
facilities in United States by Canadian Forces. Consideration was accordingly given to 
the general principles which should govern the responsibilities of each country in respect 
of the maintenance of structures, etc., built by the Government of either which are occu- 
pied by the Forces of the other, and the Board decided to make the following 21st Rec- 

The Board recommends that when facilities are provided by the Government of either 

» Ibid. 
26 Ibid. 



country for the occupation of Forces of the other the following principles should apply 
to the maintenance, upkeep and servicing of such facilities, subject to such local definition 
and if necessary modification as the circumstances require: 

1. Any building constructed by the Government of one country and wholly occu- 
pied by Forces of the other should be maintained by the occupying Forces and at the ter- 
mination of the occupation turned over to the Government of the country by which it 
was provided in the same condition as when the occupation commenced, ordinary wear 
and tear, act of God, enemy action,